The World Is Running Out of Time to Fight Climate Change, Warns the UN

According to a new study, we’ve got one last chance to stop climate change before it becomes irreversible.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report concluding global warming is likely to reach irreversible and dangerous levels by 2030 if increased action is not taken to reduce C02 emissions. This could result in severe weather, higher sea levels, damage to crops, and the displacement of millions of people.

The IPCC report states the plans laid out in the Paris Agreement aren’t enough to keep the global temperature from rising 2.7°F.
“Limited warming to [2.7°F] is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics, but doing so would require unprecedented changes,” stated one of the report’s authors Jim Skea.

It would take a 45% reduction in emissions from 2010 levels by 2030, which is very unlikely, the IPCC says, without new tech to remove C02. One proposed method is growing more forests, which absorb C02, but that would require huge amounts of land. Burning biofuels, like corn ethanol, and waste wood is another option, but biofuels are not as economical as fossil fuels.

Today’s techniques for removing C02 from the air are very expensive, and would require billions of tons of C02 to be extracted. The most feasible way to reduce greenhouse gases is to stop releasing them by not burning fossil fuels, which is the main source of emissions in the U.S.