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The UN just released its climate change report card… And we are failing! This isn’t the only report that was published in recent weeks… And they all say we are heading towards the End of the World…
Another report? Yup, there’ve been a couple recently. Like…
Last month’s UN report: It was conducted by its climate science panel that looked at more than 6,000 studies. It said we have 12 years to massively cut greenhouse gas emissions. If not, expect a potential climate crisis within our lifetimes.
The Black Friday report: It was conducted by more than a dozen federal agencies. It predicted the negative impact on US industries like dairy, fishing, and farming – which could hit soybean and corn production especially hard. It said climate change could cost the US economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century. But you probably haven’t heard much about it…
This new report: It is conducted by the UN every year to check how well countries are doing at reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Short answer: really bad. In 2015, almost every country in the world pledged to lower emissions as part of the Paris climate deal. Not only are countries not on track with their goals, but the UN says the goals are too low to begin with, and could still lead to some worst-case scenarios.
When you say worst-case scenario, what are we talking about here?
As is, Earth’s already about 1°C hotter than it was before the Industrial Revolution. And we’re already starting to see the effects. Floods, droughts, wildfires and more frequent, intense hurricanes have all been tied to climate change. If things continue to heat up at this rate, the report says the climate situation could become “catastrophic.”
What needs to happen for climate change to stop?
International governments need to bring their A-game to drastically cut down emissions (think: more money and stronger policies). Problem, because they’re having commitment issues. The UN is encouraging local and city govs to keep at it, even if national govs aren’t doing enough.
Next week, international leaders are meeting in Poland for a UN climate change conference where all of this will come up. But despite all the warnings and pledges, it’s looking increasingly unlikely the world is on track to avoid catastrophic effects of climate damage.