And Here Comes the IPCC

5 September 2018

It’s all well-known – the UNFCCC negotiations are progressing at a slow pace, the workload and delivery is lagging behind schedule, and the parties” enthusiasm on rapid and early enhancing of ambition to meet the Paris objectives is hardly visible, particularly with the looming COP in Poland. But here comes the IPCC to the rescue – hopefully.

As we all know, as a result of the Paris negotiations in 2015, Parties commissioned the largest global climate science authority, the IPCC, to assess in a Special Report the feasibility of meeting the objective to limit global warming to 1.5°C, and what failing to meet the goal would entail. After two years of work by a large number of expert scientists, the report and particularly its Summary For Policymakers (SPM) will be negotiated and agreed upon in Korea by Parties in early October. By nature, the findings of the IPCC will have significant impacts on governments” climate policies and domestic implementation, the Talanoa Dialogue and the necessary enhancement of the 2030 NDC. The question remains – which political impacts?

ECO has always defended the IPCC and its many products over the years as fundamental parts of advocating awareness and solutions to the global climate crisis. And ECO will keep doing so.

This is arguably the most important piece the IPCC has produced for a long time. While the report certainly has shortcomings, ECO strongly calls on the governments negotiating in Korea to maintain the solid integrity of the report and its key findings.

ECO is calling on all, and in particularly on developing countries” and some progressive European countries, to withstand the very likely attack by the usual suspects from countries in the hand of, or influenced by, powerful fossil fuel lobbies that will likely oppose crucial scientific results. While acknowledging that 1.5°C in itself entails significant climate change impacts already and requires enhanced adaptation resources for the poor, these results include the limiting of global warming to 1.5°C, which is morally and ethically an imperative for the survival of entire nations, vulnerable communities, many ecosystems, and in reducing the risk of irreversible climate change impacts; for instance through run-away terrestrial polar ice melting resulting in unmanageable sea level rise in later times.

New research confirms IPCC findings that meeting the 1.5°C objective is technically feasible, by halving global emissions by 2030 and reaching a full global net zero decarbonisation by sometime between 2040 and 2055. It is economically and socially beneficial, a precondition to meeting the SDG objectives, and avoids much higher costs with climate pathways for higher temperatures. But to achieve that, we need progress on ambition at COP24.

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