IPCC Releases Major Climate Change Report

by Andy Johnson, Executive Director

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released its AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023. It is represents the best science in the world, and it is sobering. Good coverage including enlightening graphics can be found at The ConversationWorld Resources InstituteCNBC, and elsewhere. There’s no sugar-coating the conclusions:

“Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred. Human-caused climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. This has led to widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people. …Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health. There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.”

Also, “Policies and laws addressing mitigation have consistently expanded since AR5. Global GHG emissions in 2030 implied by nationally determined contributions (NDCs) announced by October 2021 make it likely that warming will exceed 1.5°C during the 21st century and make it harder to limit warming below 2°C.”

This is true, and yet major policies have been adopted even since 2021. The Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S. is the most significant climate and clean energy legislation in our history, and is already accelerating change. Globally, renewable energy is being built faster than predicted, solar will produce more power than coal by 2027, and over half of electricity production will be carbon-free this decade.

Decades ago, Donella Meadows said “we have just enough time, starting now”. While we are losing the race against time, we are also rapidly gaining ground. Your Energy District is working hard to lead local implementation, and advocate for ever stronger policy. Join us, vote, share the IPCC report with policymakers and your networks, and THANK YOU to all those doing their part and leading the way.

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