The UN Says We Are Not Acting Fast Enough To Limit Global Warming And Stop Climate Change

The report found humans have permanently damaged the planet, and the current scale and pace of climate action is not enough.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its latest report, and the science is clear – humans have permanently damaged the planet.

The report, which was compiled by hundreds of scientists and scholars, found that we are far short of limiting global warming to 1.5°C or even 2°C, which is the goal of the Paris Agreement.

Scientists say the window to a liveable future is closing rapidly, but there is still time to act.

Here’s what you need to know about the report and how the world can still act now to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

The UN’s latest report indicates we are far short of limiting global warming to 1.5˚C or even 2˚C.

greece wildfire woman climate change
A woman reacts as a wildfire approaches her house in the village of Gouves, on the island of Evia, Greece, on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021. (Photo via Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg)

Current policies would lead to 2.7°C or more warming by 2100.

Net-zero climate commitments would still produce warming of around 2.2°C.

Current national climate plans will see the world warm by about 2.7°C this century, or possibly higher.

As temperatures rise further, damages will accelerate.

pakistan flood climate change
Stranded people wade through a flooded area after heavy monsoon rainfall in Punjab province in Pakistan on August 25, 2022.(Photo by SHAHID SAEED MIRZA/AFP via Getty Images)

This will cause unprecedented costs to people, economies and the environment worse than any seen so far.

Adverse impacts from human-caused climate change will intensify:

somalia drought climate change
A woma drinks water at a water distribution point at Muuri camp, one of the 500 camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in town, in Baidoa, Somalia, on February 13, 2022. More and more people are flocking to Baidoa from rural areas of southern Somalia, one of the regions hardest hit by the drought that is engulfing the Horn of Africa. (Photo by YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Water scarcity
  • Food insecurity
  • Impacts on health and wellbeing
  • Damages to infrastructure.

But there is still hope.

tuvalu pacific islands sea level rise climate change
Suega Apelu, Elsie Rurunteiti and Tina Makiti swim in the lagoon on November 28, 2019 in Funafuti, Tuvalu. The low-lying South Pacific island nation of about 11,000 people has been classified as ‘extremely vulnerable’ to climate change by the United Nations Development Programme. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Effective and equitable climate action now will reduce losses and damages for nature and people.

Fairness is one of the solutions.

el salvador drought crops climate change
Salvadorean Samuel Fuentes, a farmer who lost his crops because of the drought, checks his corn field in the town of Usulutan, 110 km southeast from San Salvador, El Salvador on July 24, 2018. (Photo by OSCAR RIVERA/AFP via Getty Images)

From Africa to Asia, Latin America to small islands, those who contributed the least to climate change are often the most vulnerable to its impacts.

Climate adaptation cannot be an alternative to emission cuts.

china flooding climate change girl
A young girl stands in the flooded Jiangtan park caused by heavy rains along the Yangtze river on July 10, 2020 in Wuhan, China. (Photo by Getty Images)

The way forward is climate-resilient development

brazil deforestation climate change
General aerial view of illegal deforestation at the Natural National Park in La Macarena, Meta Department, Colombia, on September 3, 2020. (Photo by Raul ARBOLEDA / AFP) (Photo by RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP via Getty Images)

This means integrating measures to adapt to climate change with actions to reduce emissions.

Climate finance is cheaper than paying climate damages and must be prioritized

africa women collect water climate change
Internally displaced women carry water containers in the makeshift camp where they are sheltered in the village of Erebti, Ethiopia, on June 9, 2022. (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Climate finance needs to be 3 to 6 times the current amount.

Developing countries need external funding to meet their adaptation needs

Climate change paints a grim picture of our future, but urgent action can change this

kiribati pacific island sea level rise climate change
A young girl lies on her back in seawater that has flooded the village street in Eita, Kiribati, where sea levels have been rising by half an inch each year. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Every fraction of a degree matters, every action matters, every year matters.

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