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UK Calls for Greater Global Ambition: UN Report Finds World Warming Faster than Previously Estimated

The UK is calling for urgent global action in response to a just-published UN report on the science of climate change. The key highlight of the report by IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) was that climate change is widespread, rapid, and intensifying.

This call comes in a time when the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing another sweltering summer, Europe is drenched in unusual floods, and drought fuelled wildfires are raging in North America.

According to the report, there are changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole climate system. It states that the planet is warming at an alarming rate, and human activity is blamed.

The report further warns that climate change has affected every region across the globe, and without urgent action to decrease the warming, heavy precipitation, heat waves, droughts, and loss of Arctic Sea ice, snow cover, and permafrost, will all increase. At the same time, carbon sinks will become less effective at slowing the growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Cutting Global Emissions Immediately Would Help Limit Global Warming to 1.5C

This summer has been one of the worst in climate change patterns, and people have to confront the link between climate change and extreme weather. Emissions that come from burning fossil fuels have been trapping heat in the atmosphere since the industrial era. As a result, the average temperatures have risen by 1.2C.

This additional energy is unevenly distributed, busting out in extremes that we’ve witnessed this summer. Without reductions in global emissions, the cycle will keep going. This means we will likely experience hotter and longer heatwaves, persistent droughts, more wildfires, and extreme rainfall events.

According to the report, cutting global emissions starting immediately to net-zero by mid-century would give an excellent chance to limit global warming to 1.5C in the long-term and help avoid the realities of effects of climate change.

“Today’s report makes for a sobering read, and it is clear that the next decade is going to be pivotal to securing the future of the planet. We know what must be done to limit global warming-  consign coal to history and shift to clean energy sources, protect nature and provide climate finance for countries in the frontline.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

“The UK is leading the war, decarbonizing our economy faster than any country in the G20 over the last two decades. I hope today’s IPCC report will be a wake-up call for the world to take action now before we meet in Glasgow in November for the critical COP26 summit,” he added.

Let’s face it the world is facing some strange climate trends, from wildfires in North America, floods in China, across Europe, India, and even parts of Africa, and heatwaves in Siberia, COP President Alok Sharma has been negotiating with governments and businesses to increase global climate ambition and take immediate action to help halve the global emissions in the next decade and reach net-zero emissions by mid-century to keep the 1.5C goal set out in the Paris Agreement within reach.

The UK Plans to Reduce Emissions by 68% by 2030

The UK is already showing some leadership with clear plans to reduce the emissions by 68% by 2030 and 78% by 2035, leading to net-zero by 2050. Today more than 70% of the world’s economy is covered by a net-zero target-up from the 30% when the UK took over as incoming COP presidency. May saw the establishment of the first zero G&, with all countries coming forward with 2030 emission reduction targets that put them on the path to reaching this goal by 2050. However, IPCC’s report shows that more action is urgently needed.

All hope is not lost, and some progress has been made since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015. More than 85 new or updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to 2030, representing over 110 parties, have been submitted to determine how countries will cut their emissions and address the climate crisis.

“The Science is clear, the impacts of the climate crisis can be seen around the world, and if we don’t act now, we will continue to see the worst effects impact our lives, livelihoods, and natural habitats,” Mr. Sharma said.

“The impacts of climate change are already affecting the lives and livelihoods worldwide, with increasing frequency and severity. Alongside the need to drive down emissions, this report rings an alarm to urgently help vulnerable communities adapt and build resilience- in developed and developing countries alike,” UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency Anne-Marie Trevelyan said.

“Protecting the most vulnerable is a priority for the UK’s COP26 Presidency. World leaders must heed the science and work together to adapt to our changing climate, as well as act to avert, minimize and address loss and damage for those on the frontline,” she added.

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