International community salutes Scientists call for urgent action to reduce global warming
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09 October 2018 Author :   Elias Ntungwe Ngalame
Mithika Mwenda

The International community has been reacting positively to the just released report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calling for urgent actions to save the planet from worsening climate disasters.

 Environment actors say the long-awaited special report on global warming of 1.5C is expected to bring urgency to the upcoming climate talks.

"We need urgent action and the report is  timely enough" says Mithika Mwenda, SG of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, PACJA, co-organisers of the seventh Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa  October 10-12, 2018.

The  IPCC report confirms that limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C would be significantly better than breaching the 2°C threshold, supporting calls for a definitive stop to fossil fuel use and a rapid transition to energy systems based on 100% renewable energy.

Reacting to the IPPC report, the secretariat of the UN Climate Change, UNFCCC welcomes the call that  will unlock practical actions and contributions towards the Paris Agreement’s goals, noting that governments have set a deadline for themselves to finalise the agreement’s implementation guidelines at the annual UN Climate Change Conference this December in Katowice, Poland.

“These guidelines will build trust by ensuring transparency. They will enable each country to act and contribute, they will allow all of us to see what each country is doing, and they will allow us to have full clarity on the provision of support, especially climate finance now and in the long-term,” UNFCCC secretariat said in an October 8,2018 press release.

Officials of the World Meteorological  Organisation have saluted the report calling on different governments and other actors to act fast.

“ There is need to act fast to save the world from worsening climate disasters,” says Petri Taalas of the World Meteorological Organisation.

The report calls on the need to stop fossil fuel extraction and redirect resources on renewable energy.

 “The science in the IPCC report on 1.5°C speaks for itself. Staying under 1.5ºC is now a matter of political will. Burying our heads in the sand cannot be contemplated as an option any longer. The climate crisis is here and already impacting the most vulnerable and the least responsible for creating it. The only way to achieve it is to stop all fossil fuel extraction and redirect the massive resources currently spent on the fossil fuel economy towards the renewable energy transition”.

Apolos Nwafor of OXFAM international says, ” there is need to speed up finances to carry out actions that will benefit of our children, the farmers and many others impacted by the growing effects of climate change.”

Communities worldwide are already resisting fossil fuel development and calling for a deep transformation of our energy systems and economies. Some of these stories of resistance can be found in the newly released People’s Dossier on 1.5°C.

 The Dossier puts faces and voices onto the facts and data provided by the IPCC special report. It contains the stories of 13 communities fighting on the frontlines of climate change: from young Pacific Islanders trying to stop the Adani mega-mine to fishermen communities in Africa battling against new coal plants; from the struggle to stop a gigantic gas pipeline among the olive groves of Southern Italy to the landowners and Native Americans putting solar panels on the route of the Keystone XL pipeline.  also lauded the report indicating in a release that its activists will also launch a globally coordinated delivery of copies of the IPCC report, demanding that all institutions withdraw their support from the fossil fuel industry and stand up to them before it’s too late.

The IPCC report explores in detail the impacts of a world 1.5°C warmer than pre-industrial levels and the feasibility of avoiding greater increases in temperature, while current national plans -if implemented - are only consistent with a world over 3°C warmer.

Keeping the world from warming over 1.5°C will prevent considerable disruption to all of the Earth’s systems and allow for some ecosystems to partially recover from climate change after 2100,  knowing that 20% to 30% of emitted CO2 will remain in the atmosphere for a time ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand years.

The 1.5°C target is feasible, provided enough economic resources are invested early enough to dramatically accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels and the uptake of renewable energy and energy saving technologies across the board. Within the next decade or so, we will need to radically change the way we build our houses, move from one place to another and grow our food.

As development stakeholders meet in Kenya for the seventh Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa, it is expected that the report is a clear call to drive  Africa’s nationally determined contributions and define actionable agendas regarding them as proposed by Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) programme.

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