Commentary: Three things a climate scientist wants world leaders to know for COP27
Frighteningly, we risk tipping the climate into a dangerous new regime bringing even worse consequences. Research from September finds we’re on the brink of passing five major climate “tipping points”, such as the collapse of Greenland’s ice sheet.
Passing these points will lock the planet into continuing damage to the climate, even if all greenhouse gas emissions cease.
Human health is also on the line. Research last month revealed the climate crisis is undermining public health through, for instance, greater spread of infectious diseases, air pollution and food shortages.
Among its disturbing findings, heat-related deaths in babies under a year old, and adults over 65, increased by 68 per cent in 2017 to 2021, compared to 2000 to 2004.
Future generations cannot afford our dithering on action to reduce emissions.
EMISSIONS REDUCTION IS TOO SLOW
Some countries, particularly in Europe, are succeeding in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through transitioning to renewable energy.
But globally it’s not happening fast enough. A UN report this week found if nations deliver on their climate action goals for 2030, Earth will still heat by about 2.5 degrees Celsius this century – overshooting the Paris Agreement goal to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius.
Such warming would be disastrous, especially in poorer parts of the world that have contributed little to global emissions.