Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the “Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC”. Kelly Stone, Senior Policy Analyst on climate change and land use with ActionAid USA, responded to the release of the report:
“The Special Report clearly shows the urgency of the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C. We’re already seeing serious impacts at 1°C. The science is clear that 1.5°C will mean more droughts, floods and other extreme weather, and that the impacts will be even more catastrophic at 2°C.
“The good news is that 1.5°C is still achievable, but only if we acknowledge that business as usual is no longer acceptable.
“Next week ActionAid, along with colleagues in the CLARA network, will release a report showing the huge potential for the right kind of action in the land sector to help meet the 1.5°C goal. Transforming to sustainable production methods, changing diets, protecting forests and safeguarding the rights of indigenous peoples would make a much greater contribution to the 1.5°C goal than has previously been recognized. Addressing harmful consumption patterns must be a key part of the picture.
“The barriers to staying under 1.5°C are not technical, but political. Governments of polluting countries must take home the message that they need to re-order their priorities and take much more action if they are going to keep their citizens and planet safe.”
“Relying on large-scale negative emission technologies would be a dangerous gamble we must not take. While some negative emissions are needed, betting on unproven and harmful technologies to remove huge amounts of emissions from the atmosphere in the future. If these technologies do not work at the hoped-for scale, it will be too late to undo the damage. The world will have locked in additional warming and related impacts.
“We strongly oppose the use of Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, or BECCS. This technology is both unproven to work at scale and relies on the myth that bioenergy is carbon neutral, meaning it won’t offer any real climate benefit. A climate pathway that puts land needed for food and forests over to BECCS would mean betting on unproven and harmful technologies to remove emissions from the atmosphere in the future, sacrificing the very people the 1.5°C goal was supposed to protect. That BECCS remains one of the main negative emissions technologies considered in climate pathways is unacceptable.”
“We’ll have a far better chance of making the 1.5°C goal if we take action to avoid emissions now by pursuing solutions that we already know can work, such as transforming our food systems and diets, and halting deforestation.”