IPCC has released three reports in rapid succession. These reports cover:
August 2021: What is the problem?
February 2021 How serious is the problem?
April 2022: How can the problem be solved?
The latest report titled “Mitigation of Climate Change” focuses on three key aspects:
The target of 1.5 degrees is almost out of reach: The target of net-zero by 2050 appears to be almost unachievable. Carbon emissions have continued, and there is not much time left before temperature limits are breached.
Understanding what to do and the tools for doing it are there: Many countries have experienced shrinking emission rates and are a model. Cost-effective ways of tackling climate change now exist. Solar and wind power costs have declined rapidly – 85% between 2010 and 2019. Low carbon technologies Nuclear and hydroelectric power have gained ground. Digitalisation through robotics and the internet of things will increase the efficiency of renewable power.
Carbon removal is inevitable: Unless the overshoot of emissions is clawed back, the situation looks dire. Removal of carbon is unavoidable. There are many time tested methods of reduction, while several embryonic methods need attention. Newer techniques such as direct air capture face difficulty in attracting investment.
Behaviours are important: Given the report’s focus on prevention, the report looks at the demand side of reduction. Behavioural and cultural change can reduce emissions significantly. Social science now forms part of IPCC report.
This IPCC report is an important step in helping countries and companies achieve their net-zero goals.