Climate change is widespread, rapid, and intensifying, and some trends are now irreversible, at least during the present time frame, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released yesterday.
Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe.
Many of these changes are unprecedented, and some of the shifts are in motion now, while some - such as continued sea level rise – are already ‘irreversible’ for centuries to millennia, ahead, the report warns.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the Working Group's report was nothing less than "a code red for humanity. The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable.”
He noted that the internationally-agreed threshold of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels of global heating was perilously close. “We are at imminent risk of hitting 1.5 degrees in the near term,” he said.
The UN chief called for action ahead of the crucial COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November.
Respond to the report, Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Lyn Morgain said the number of climate-related disasters has tripled in 30 years.
“Amid a world in parts burning, in parts drowning and in parts starving, the IPCC today tables the most compelling wake-up call yet for global industry to switch from oil, gas and coal to renewables,” she said.
“Governments must use law to compel this urgent change. Citizens must use their political power to push big polluting corporations and governments in the right direction. There is no Plan B. “