IPCC report calls for further reducing greenhouse gas emissions

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It would be impossible to achieve the 1.5-degree-Celsius target as required by the Paris Agreement, unless actions are taken now to make deep emission reductions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said on Monday.

The IPCC publishes comprehensive scientific assessment reports on climate change and its impacts every six to seven years, which integrates reports submitted separately by its three working groups.

In the latest approved report by the third working group, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of climate change, IPCC said average annual global greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest levels in human history between 2010 to 2019, but the rate of growth has slowed.

During the same period, there has been increasing evidence of climate action. The costs of solar and wind energy, and batteries, for instance, have decreased by up to 85 percent since 2010, while an increasing range of policies and laws have enhanced energy efficiency, reduced rates of deforestation and accelerated the deployment of renewable energy.

"Having the right policies, infrastructure and technology in place to enable changes to our lifestyles and behavior can result in a 40-70 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This offers significant untapped potential," said IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Priyadarshi Shukla.

In addition to the energy sector, industry, which accounts for about a quarter of global emissions, is facing the challenge of achieving net zero, which will require new production processes, low and zero emissions of electricity, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage, the report suggests.

According to IPCC's assessment, limiting warming to around 1.5 degrees Celsius, as required by the Paris Agreement, would necessitate global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43 percent by 2030. At the same time, methane would also need to be reduced by about a third. Even if we do this, it is almost inevitable that we will temporarily exceed this temperature threshold but could return to below it by the end of the century.

"It's now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible," said IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Jim Skea.

"We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future. We have the tools and know-how required to limit warming," said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee.

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