In order to avoid a catastrophic increase in global temperatures, humanity as a whole must reach the peak amount of carbon emissions by 2025. If peak emissions are not reached by then, it will be almost impossibly hard to reach net-zero emissions between 2050 to 2075 and keep global temperature increase below 1.5°C, according to an IPCC report.
A leaked draft of a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the third part of the recently published Assessment Report 6 from Working Group 1. The AR6 report highlighted the dire consequences humanity will have to face as a result of failing to control drastic climate change.
While the draft is part of the report that will be published in March, 2022, parts of it were leaked to the Spanish branch of Scientist Rebellion, an offshoot of the Extinction Rebellion movement and published in the Spanish online magazine CTXT.
The published parts of the report were already calling ‘code red’ for humanity, with irreversible consequences in store for humanity.
But the leaked drafts highlight the fact that global carbon emissions must reach a peak by no later than 2025, and decline afterwards in order to reach the goals set out by the Paris Climate Agreement.
A failure to meet the goals would result in a runaway increase in temperatures on the Earth, and climate devastation as set out by the IPCC report.
The leaked draft highlighted the overwhelming contribution of the wealthy to the current climate crisis due to excessive emissions when compared to the poor. In particular, meat-eaters and owners of SUV vehicles were highlighted.
The report also shed light on the fact that providing electricity to those who currently posses none, numbering around 800 million spread across the world, will not significantly increase emissions since the poor contribute minimally to global carbon emissions.
One of the key points of the report was that economic growth and climate mitigation do not necessarily go hand in hand. Some decrease in GDP has to be expected in order to save the planet. Among other avenues that humanity needs to take in order to save the planet, no new fossil fuel energy plants can be constructed any longer to remain within 1.5°C of pre-industrial temperatures. Existing fossil fuel plants will need to be decommissioned within 9-12 years, and technologies for advanced carbon sequestration and holding will be imperative.
“The combined economic impacts of stranded fossil fuel resources and capital could amount to trillions of dollars,” the report says.
As was stated by a previous IPCC report that also was leaked, “Life on Earth can recover from major climate change by evolving into new species and creating new ecosystems. Not humanity.”