Climate: the solutions are there, but it’s “now or never”, underlines the Giec

The Giec details in a new 2,000-page report the range of solutions available to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The solutions are there, it remains to act massively and without delay.

At the end of a two-week session which will be extended over the weekend, the 195 member governments of the IPCC have approved a 2,000 page report on solutions to stop global warming. This latest installment of the expert group’s sixth assessment cycle, drawn up by 278 lead authors, draws up a first observation: good mitigation measures are already in place around the world. But although they have made it possible to avoid the emission of “several” billion tons of greenhouse gases per yearthey remain totally insufficient to stop the accumulation in the atmosphere of insulating gases produced by humans.


40 to 70% of global emissions could be reduced by 2050 through more moderate consumption, indicates the IPCC.

Gold for hope to limit warming to 1.5°C, global emissions are expected to stop rising by 2025 at the latest. They should then drop by around 43% for the end of the decade compared to their 2019 level, then 84% by 2050. “It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C”, says Jim Skea, co-chair of the working group author of the report.

The options are known

And this objective, anchored in the marble of the Paris Agreement to limit the effects of global warming as much as possible, remains in theory achievable. “It exists options available today in all sectors which can make it possible to reduce emissions by half by 2030″, underlines Céline Guivarch, climate change economist and member of the working group in charge of this report.

“There are options available today across all sectors that can cut emissions in half by 2030.”

Celine Guivarch

Climate Change Economist

There is, of course, the transition of the energy industry itself – the rapid decline in renewable prices since 2010 (-85% for solar and lithium-ion batteries, and -55% for wind) has led to a large, albeit insufficient, deployment.

The report emphasizes the opportunities for transformation represented by cities and urban areas – to make it more accessible to active mobility, especially. The construction sector is also key: “Action this decade is critical to capturing the mitigation potential of buildings,” stresses task force co-chair Jim Skea.

industrywhich represents a quarter of global emissions, must deploy the efficient use of materialsover there reuse and recycling, and reduce its emissions. All this requires new production processes and the use of zero carbon energies – relying on “when it’s necessary” on CO2 capture and capture techniques. For basic materials, zero-emission production processes are “in the pilot phase, sometimes at a stage close to commercialization”, notes the IPCC.

Agriculture, forestry, are also key: they can provide large-scale emission reductions and store carbon dioxide. But beware, experts point out, “the land cannot compensate for the emission reductions reported in other sectors”.

“Digital technologies only support decarbonization if framed appropriately.”

Warning also for the use of digital technologies: the internet of things, robotics and artificial intelligence can improve energy efficiency in all sectors, but watch out for the boomerang effect. Some of these climate gains may be offset by increased demand for goods and services related to the use of digital devices. “Digital technologies only support decarbonization if they are framed appropriately,” writes the IPCC.

For the first time in six evaluation cycles, the report also devotes a chapter to demand reduction, in general: 40 to 70% of global emissions could be reduced by 2050 through more sober consumptionwhether through changes in infrastructure use or socio-cultural and behavioral changes.

Investment three to six times too low

At the start of the decade, about a fifth of emissions were covered by carbon taxes or emissions trading, although coverage and prices were insufficient to achieve deep reductions. Effective policies, regulations and market instruments are already in place, said IPCC President Hoesung Lee on Monday: “If applied more broadly and equitably, they can support deep emission reductions and spur growth. ‘innovation.”

This involves, among other things, achieving channel the necessary investments. According to the report, financial flows are three to six times too low compared to the levels required by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C. There is, however, enough capital and liquidity on a global scale to “close these investment gaps”, assesses the IPCC, even if their release is hampered. Channeling investment depends on clear signals from governments and the international communityincluding stronger alignment of public sector finances and policies, says the expert group.

The summary

  • In the third part of its trilogy, the group of UN experts on climate indicates that it is not too late to limit global warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century.
  • Provided that immediate action is taken, in all sectors, to massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • And to urgently boost green investments across the planet, which remain “three to six times” too low.

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Climate: the solutions are there, but it’s “now or never”, underlines the Giec

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