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'Time bomb': UN predicted a lot of catastrophes due to global warming

The world is rapidly approaching a climate catastrophe, according to a new report prepared by the UN. If immediate and drastic measures are not taken, the world will face dire consequences. CNN.

Photo: IStock

“The climate time bomb is ticking,” António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said March 20 in a statement marking the presentation of the consolidated the report Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Humanity is on thin ice, and that ice is melting fast.”

The report draws on the findings of hundreds of scientists to provide a comprehensive assessment of how the climate crisis is unfolding.

The report combines what has already been outlined in a number of other reports over the past few years - but it paints a very clear picture of where the world is headed.

"This report is the most dire and disturbing assessment of the growing climate impact we will all face if systemic changes are not made now," said Sarah Shaw, program coordinator for Friends of the Earth International.

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The report says that the impact of global warming pollution is already more serious than expected, and we are moving closer to more dangerous and irreversible consequences.

While the goal of limiting global warming to 1,5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is still possible, the report notes, the path to achieving it is rapidly closing as global production of planet-warming pollution continues to increase — emissions have risen by nearly 1%. last year.

Atmospheric carbon pollution concentrations are at their highest level in more than two million years, and the rate of temperature rise over the past half century is the fastest in 2000 years.

The impact of the climate crisis continues to hit the poorest and most vulnerable countries, which did the least to cause it.

“Our planet is already suffering from severe climate impacts, from scorching heat and devastating storms to severe droughts and water shortages,” said Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute.

The biggest threat to climate change action is the world's continued addiction to burning fossil fuels, which still accounts for over 80% of the world's energy and 75% of the planet's anthropogenic pollution.

Despite the International Energy Agency stating in 2021 that there could now be no new developments in fossil fuels if the world is to meet climate commitments, governments continue to approve oil, gas and coal projects.

The Biden administration has just given the green light to the highly controversial Willow oil drilling project in Alaska. Once operational, they are predicted to produce enough oil to emit 9,2 million metric tons of global warming carbon pollution annually. This is equivalent to adding 2 million gas-powered vehicles to the roads.

Arati Prabhakar, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said the new UN report shows that "the future of the Earth is not predetermined."

“This highlights the urgent need for leaders in every sector and every country to step up and take bold action to combat climate change,” Prabhakar said.

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China is planning a huge expansion in the use of coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels. According to a report released last month, it issued coal mining permits for 2022 sites in 82, the equivalent of starting two large coal-fired power plants every week.

But the UN report also outlines options to help the world limit warming to 1,5 degrees. “This report is both a strong condemnation of the inaction of major emitters and a credible blueprint for a much safer and fairer world,” Dasgupta said.

Averting the worst effects of the climate crisis will require sweeping shifts across all sectors of the economy and society, according to the report.

He called for a drastic reduction in global warming pollution by moving away from fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy. According to the report, in order to limit warming to 1,5 degrees, global levels of pollution of the planet must decrease by 2035% by 60 compared to 2019. He stressed the need for increased investment to build climate resilience and strengthen support for people coping with the losses associated with climate change, especially in the most vulnerable countries.

The report also says that we need to remove carbon from the air, including potentially through technologies such as "direct air capture" - removing carbon directly from the air and storing it, possibly by introducing it underground.

However, the technology is still controversial, as some see it as a distraction from policies to reduce the pollution that is causing the planet to warm.

“In my country, Sri Lanka, the effects of climate change are now being felt. We don't have time for fairy tales like carbon removal technologies to suck carbon out of the air," said Hemanta Withanaj, chairwoman of Friends of the Earth International.

Guterres urged all countries to “massively accelerate efforts to fight climate change” and, in particular, rich countries to press the “fast forward button” to meet the commitment to achieve zero emissions, which means removing as many plant-harmful pollutants from the atmosphere as possible. .

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“Today’s report is a guide to disarming the climate time bomb,” Guterres said. “But it will lead to a quantum leap in the fight against climate change.”

The report, signed over the weekend by representatives of nearly 200 UN countries, will be presented at the next UN climate conference COP28, which will be held in Dubai at the end of the year. The conference will include the first "global analysis" of the Paris Climate Agreement, an assessment of progress in overcoming the climate crisis and preventing a climate catastrophe.

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