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Join ClimateWorks Foundation, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Scientific Advisory Panel and the World Resources Institute (WRI) in unpacking the main conclusions of the IPCC 1.5 report and their implications for near-term climate mitigation, with a particular focus on the role of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) like methane, black carbon and f-gases.
In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its much awaited report which maps the physical and economic impacts of a rise in global average temperature of above 1.5 degrees Celsius, and suggests policy options that constitute the appropriate level of effort required to bend the emissions trajectory towards a less than 1.5-degree Celsius pathway. The IPCC report makes for a sobering read: Policy makers, campaigners, scientists and the businesses need to accelerate climate action as part of “rapid and far-reaching” transitions that will head off the worst impacts of climate change. Here are the key conclusions of the report that relate to near-term climate action against short-lived climate pollutants:
We are not on track. The report found that “estimates of the global emissions outcome of current nationally stated mitigation ambitions as submitted under the Paris Agreement would lead to global greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 of 52–58 GtCO2eq/yr. Pathways reflecting these ambitions would not limit global warming to 1.5°C.”
We have an “action window” of only a little more than a decade. Prof. Drew Shindell, a lead author of the report and chair of the CCAC Science Advisory Panel, commented: “We not only have to switch our trajectory from up to down but it has to drop very rapidly during the 2020’s, so that by 2030 we are at half our current carbon dioxide emissions and between one and two thirds of current SLCP emissions.”
Reducing all climate forcers is critical, including short-lived climate pollutants (non-CO2 emissions). Addressing climate and air pollution can increase our chances of success and can achieve extraordinary results for both temperature abatement and many development goals. The sources and impacts of air pollution and climate change are closely interlinked, and many air pollutants have important impacts on the climate. This inter-linkage is an opportunity to amplify the multiple-benefits of our actions and catalyze even greater mitigation ambition.