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According to a new study, limiting global warming to 1.5ºC would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said on Monday.

This special report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC was approved by the IPCC on Saturday in Incheon, Republic of Korea.

According to an IPCC statement, it will be a key scientific input into the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December, when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change.

“With more than 6,000 scientific references cited and the dedicated contribution of thousands of expert and government reviewers worldwide, this important report testifies to the breadth and policy relevance of the IPCC,” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC.

Ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries prepared the IPCC report in response to an invitation from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when it adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015.

“One of the key messages that come out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes,” said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I.

Commenting on the new assessment, Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said: “The IPCC report sends a clear signal and calls for a large-scale transformation of the global energy system. A decarbonised energy system, increasingly fueled by renewable sources, is vital to the global response to the threat of climate change.”

“IRENA’s analysis shows that renewable energy and energy efficiency represents the most cost-effective pathway for achieving 90% of the energy-related CO2 emission reductions needed to meet the ‘well below 2 degrees objective’ of the Paris Agreement”.

“The world of energy is witnessing rapid and disruptive changes. Renewables already account for around a quarter of global electricity generation. In the last six years, renewable power capacity additions outpaced additions from fossil fuels and nuclear power combined. However, if we are to meet our climate goals, renewables deployment must accelerate six times faster than today,” he added.

“Renewable energy allows governments to opt for significantly higher ambition levels in their climate plans, including their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement”, Adnan Z. Amin added.

“Thanks to dramatic cost reductions and technology improvements, renewables are technically feasible and economically attractive. This is for instance also increasingly manifested in the energy choices of private actors. IRENA estimates that, through corporate sourcing of renewables alone, companies have already created demand the size of the electricity market of France.”

“A sustainable energy transformation will not only contribute to climate objectives. IRENA’s Roadmap to 2050 shows it will support positive social and economic outcomes, lifting millions out of energy poverty, increasing energy independence and stimulating sustainable economic growth and job creation. To fully reap the benefits of the energy transformation, we have to make sure that its welfare gains and costs are fairly distributed. We have opportunities at hand that we must rally behind by adopting strong policies, mobilising capital and driving innovation across the energy system.”, concluded Adnan Z. Amin.

IRENA’s Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050 finds that the shift to renewable energy and energy efficiency could generate global gains of up to $6 trillion annually by 2050.

The global economy would grow by 1% – leading to a cumulative gain of up to $52 trillion by 2050. Global welfare such as health benefits from reduced air pollution and reduced climate impacts would improve by 15%.

According to IRENA, this transformation would generate a net gain of over 11 million additional jobs in the energy sector by 2050. However, this shift requires new approaches to planning, system and market operations, regulation and public policy.