UN panel to release report on efforts to curb climate change

UN panel to release report on efforts to curb climate change


UN panel to release report on efforts to curb climate change

BERLIN (AP) — A U.N.-backed panel will release Monday a highly anticipated scientific report on international efforts to curb climate change before global temperatures reach dangerous levels.

Reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are considered the most authoritative assessments of the state of global warming, its impacts and the measures being taken to tackle it.

Negotiations between governments and scientists to finalize the summary for policymakers dragged on past the original deadline until late Sunday, pushing back the planned publication by several hours.

Governments agreed in the 2015 Paris accord to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) this century. But with temperatures already more than 1.1C higher than the pre-industrial baseline, many experts say that’s only possible with drastic cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.

The cut-off point for data in the report was last fall, meaning that the impact of the war in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions on Russia weren’t included by the authors.

Rouven Stubbe, an analyst at the consultancy Berlin Economics who wasn’t involved in the report, said there is a risk that the geopolitical and economic turmoil caused by the conflict could disrupt efforts to reduce emissions.

“I think the difficult thing will be that politically we have to maintain course,” he said. “Especially now with this high energy prices, there are already voices that say we should ease the (European) emissions trade system” that encourages companies to avoid heavily polluting forms of energy.

Last August, the IPCC said climate change caused by humans was “an established fact” and warned that some effects of global warming are already inevitable. In March, the panel published a report that outlined how further temperature increases will multiply the risk of floods, storms, drought and heat waves worldwide.

“In the last years, we have seen that every report has confirmed the gravity of the situation, and in some cases, it has also underlined not the current gravity but the fact that things are going to be getting worse,” the head of the U.N. climate office, Patricia Espinosa, told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

“In some cases also, it has confirmed that some of the consequences are happening earlier than previously thought,” she said. “Unfortunately what I think we will be seeing is, again, a call for urgent and determined and transformational action.”

Last week U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed a 16-member panel to scrutinize emissions reduction pledges made by companies, cities and regions amid concerns that they don’t do what they claim.