12 Years Left

6 December 2018

ECO was deeply impressed by yesterday’s SBSTA Special Event on the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees. The world’s best climate scientists have compiled an avalanche of new information on the advantages of restricting warming to 1.5 degrees . Up to several hundred million fewer people would be exposed to climate related risks and susceptible to poverty by 2050 if warming is limited at 1.5 instead of 2 degrees. The area of risk of undergoing a transformation of ecosystems from one type to another is 50 % lower with 1.5 degrees that with 2 degrees of warming. Every tenth of a degree of warming really matters.

But ECO also felt a bit overwhelmed by all of this €“ a three hour Special Event one afternoon is just not enough to do justice to the Special Report and all the information contained in it. Therefore, ECO was happy to hear Grenada’s proposal to have a deeper analysis of IPCC SR1.5 as an agenda item for the next SBSTA session(s).

There is just one problem with that: We have only 12 years left to reduce global CO2 emissions by almost half if we want to keep the Paris 1.5 degree warming limit in reach without counting on vast amounts of negative emissions. And if we wait until the next SBSTA session for drawing conclusions from the Special Report, we will have 11 years left…

Time is pressing. Parties need to react to the Special Report now, here in Katowice. The next opportunity is today – in the wrap-up meeting of the Talanoa Dialogue’s preparatory phase. As a result of today’s meeting, ECO would like to see a short-written summary as input for the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue on December 11. Parties should refer to the new intelligence from IPCC SR1.5 and the extreme urgency we are facing. The scientific message is clear. The response is now in the hands of governments.

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