Parties to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, including Guyana, have committed to reaching “net zero emissions” of CO2 by 2050. That is the big global target.
In spite of the evidence of rising carbon emissions and their impact on the planet, progress towards that target is nowhere near where it should be. For too many across the world, it is somehow aspirational – to be achieved sometime in the distant future.
The latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report starkly dispels any notion of achieving that target based on current “business as usual” economies and modern lifestyles.
What is more, it confirms global warming is accelerating. We have already reached 1.1 degrees and the consequences of a warming world are glaringly evident: more frequent extreme weather events; water and food shortages, rising sea levels, wild fires, accelerating extinction of plants and animals and dramatically reduced biodiversity; all attributable to climate change.
Not only that, they conclude what happens between now and 2030 matters, if there is to be any chance of achieving that mid-century target. There is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5 degrees, beyond which, even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.