IPCC Recommends1.5°C Temperature Target — Coalition to "Build" 1 Billion Trees Instead
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), last week released its most recent report.
It coincides with the finalising of the rules around the Paris climate treaty undersigned by 195 countries in December 2015. The report's purpose is to remind us that the emission reductions the relevant governments undertook to meet are a mandatory minimum and to encourage voluntary overperformance of them by policymakers.
To do this 91 scientists from 44 citizenships in 40 countries of residence have published a peer reviewed document, citing over 6,000 references, outlining and underscoring the benefits of a temperature target of 1.5°C. Including long-term lower sea-levels, less severe Arctic summers and the continued existence of barrier reefs.
It stresses, as well, that we are already beginning to experience the effect of the 1°C of global warming since the pre-industrial era. Extremes of weather — steaming 38°C in Germany this summer just past and just 6 minutes of sun in Moscow last December. Less land v. ocean — seas are rising by 3mm every year since the 1990s. Loss of Arctic ice — Arctic oceanic ice has been down on the order of 4% every decade since we've been measuring, dramatically upsetting the associated ecosystem.
The suggested 1.5°C is practicable although it would require rapid, drastic measures. It is a matter of political and civic will. The Australian government's response?
The Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price hasn't read the report. However she assures us they have a plan "to build" 1 billion trees.
The Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack defiantly declared Australia won't be dictated to by “some sort of report.” He thinks they are more than up to ensuring continued tourism to the Great Barrier Reef without any coral reefs at all. I suppose they'll just "build" some more.
Scott Morrison Prime Minister of Australia
Dollar one won't be spent on climate conferences, funds and “all that nonsense” on his watch.
Compare with Claire Perry, Energy Minister for the UK: “I welcome the strong scientific analysis behind today’s IPCC report and its conclusions are stark and sober. As policymakers we need to work together to accelerate the low-carbon transition to minimise the costs and misery of a rapidly warming world.” She evidently did read the report.