1.5 degree celsius target to be missed?

Is the world going to dangerously miss the 1.5 degree celsius target? | UnBreak the News with Prema Sridevi | Ep: 104

Why is the 1.5 degrees celsius target the most important target for mankind? How is this going to impact our life on planet earth? Here’s the latest episode of UnBreak the News with Prema Sridevi!
First Published: Nov 26,2022 08:45PM

Last Updated on November 28, 2022

On 12 December 2015, the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, was adopted by 196 parties at COP 21 in Paris. The Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal was to keep the global average temperature well below 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels and preferably limit the temperature to 1.5 degrees celsius in order to reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.

Several COP meetings have taken place since COP 21 and the famed Paris Accords, including the recent COP 27 summit in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. But it is now almost certain that the world is dangerously close to missing the 1.5 degrees celsius target. Why is the 1.5 degrees celsius target the most important target for mankind? How is this going to impact our life on planet earth? Prema Sridevi UnBreaks this News for You!

(Produced below are the abridged version of the transcripts of the video explainer from Episode: 104 | UnBreak the News with Prema Sridevi | Title: Is the world going to dangerously miss the 1.5 degree celsius target?)

On 12 December 2015, the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, was adopted by 196 parties at COP 21 in Paris. The Paris Agreement’s long-term goal was to keep the global average temperature well below 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels and preferably limit the temperature to 1.5 degrees celsius to reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.

Several COP meetings have taken place since COP 21 and the famed Paris Accords, including the recent COP 27 summit in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. But it is now almost certain that the world is dangerously close to missing the 1.5 degrees celsius target. Why is the 1.5 degrees celsius target the most important target for humankind? How is this going to impact our life on planet earth? Let’s UnBreak this News!

The famed Paris Agreement was adopted at COP 21 summit in Paris in 2015. The agreement was a landmark one because, for the first time, a binding agreement brought all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change. The 1.5 degrees celsius target is known to be the most important target for life on planet earth. But this crucial climate goal is dying. Last year international organisations sounded the death knell, and this year we are close to realising that the 1.5 degrees celsius goal may be dangerously missed.

So, what is the 1.5 degrees celsius target, and why do global temperatures matter?

The earth is getting hotter than ever. Stopping warming at 1.5 degrees celsius can help us avoid some of the most catastrophic harms of climate change. Our planet is faced with unprecedented and irreversible changes affecting millions of people. If we don’t reach the 1.5 degrees celsius target, it will result in extreme weather events, heatwaves, more frequent wildfires, rising sea levels, changes in flood and drought patterns and ecosystem collapse.

The IPCC report on climate change states: “Global warming, reaching 1.5°C in the near term, would cause unavoidable increases in multiple climate hazards and present multiple risks to ecosystems and humans. The level of risk will depend on concurrent near-term trends in vulnerability, exposure, level of socioeconomic development and adaptation. Near-term actions that limit global warming to close to 1.5°C would substantially reduce projected losses and damages related to climate change in human systems and ecosystems, compared to higher warming levels, but cannot eliminate them all.”

The World Meteorological Organisation has stated that 2022 is likely to be the fifth or sixth warmest year on record. A 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated that to meet the 1.5 goal, we must cut carbon dioxide emissions by 50 per cent globally by 2030. But new estimates suggest that global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and cement have hit a record high of 36.6 billion tonnes this year. This year, global carbon emissions are expected to increase by 1 per cent above last year’s levels when in fact, they should have been declining by 5 per cent every year to meet our climate goals.

Going beyond 1.5 degrees celsius to 2 degrees celsius will expose millions of people worldwide to climate-related risks. To reach the 1.5 goal and limit climate risks, all nations must act together and reaffirm their goals towards combating climate change but even in the recently held COP 27 summit, many countries resisted mentioning a global goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees celsius in the official text of the summit. Some climate activists have already started saying that the world has lost the battle for the 1.5 degree goal.

The World Meteorological Organisation noted that “the chance of temporarily exceeding 1.5°C had risen steadily since 2015 when it was close to zero. For the years between 2017 and 2021, there was a 10% chance of exceedance. That probability has increased to nearly 50% for the 2022-2026 period”.

The world is in the throes of a climate emergency, and the writing is clear on the wall. Limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius or risk climate catastrophe.

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