• Analysis
  • Gloomy Perspectives for Climate Change

  • Gitte Pedersen | 08 Nov 18 | Posted under: Ecology
  • Not so long ago there was an agreement upon that we should keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius to avoid the major climate disaster. In the global climate agreement from 2015, the Paris agreement, it was formulated that the global average temperature must be kept well under 2°C. And that the parties would try to keep it below 1.5°C. But October 6 The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC issued a Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related greenhouse gas emission pathways. The report is build upon a strong scientific basis. The report gives strong evidences for keeping the temperature below 1.5°C and besides the difference between a rise in temperature on 1.5°C and 2°C.

    The goal is far away

    According to the report we are very close to exceed the boundary that the UN report warns against. The global average temperature has now risen by 1 degree, and between 2030 and 2052 the 1.5°C  will be reached if we continue as before. We need drastic action if we want to keep the global average temperature down.

    The report states: ‘that a warming greater than the global annual average is being experienced in many land regions and seasons, including two to three times higher in the Artic. Warming is generally higher over land than over the ocean…. And many land and ocean ecosystems and some of the services they provide have already changed due to global warming….Some impacts may be long-lasting or irreversible, such as the loss of some ecosystems.’

    Some conclusions

    Conclusions in the report say, among other things, that the waters in the oceans can rise by 10 cm. more in 2100 at the two degree warming. This could potentially mean that more coastal areas and islands become uninhabitable. In addition, the two degree heating will likely destroy all the coral reefs of the planet and result in the loss of several other ecosystems. The question is then whether the decisive countries will follow up on the conclusions.

    The EU Climate target

    The report is welcomed by Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete and Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas. They say that the report shows that the 1.5°C is doable, provided that the EU act now and use all tools possible. In December there will be the UN Climate summit (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland and the commissioners will take the message to Katowice that the world has to raise the collective ambition and deliver the goals. In addition they say that it is necessary to start preparing to achieve a carbon neutral economy as soon as possible this century. 

    The EU as a forefront?

    Both commissioners are claiming that: ‘The EU has been at the forefront of addressing the root causes of climate change and strengthening a concerted global response to it in the framework of the Paris Agreement.’ Very nice words, but has the EU really been in the forefront? To my opinion the EU hasn’t done very much. We still miss a transition to green energy and to ban completely fossil fuels. For example we still see extraction of coal at Ende Gelände and not to mention all the coal mines in Poland so will there really be a political will to stop extraction? The rise in temperature is so dangerous for the planet and our survival that it is not safe to leave it to the political establishment. As long as we have a Capitalist economy profit and accumulation will always overrule the climate. What is needed is system change.


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