UN climate report proves action must be taken now to avert climate disaster


Alexey Neshin a.neshin@mail.ru

United Nations Development Program | Flickr

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report on March 20 which warned that current plans to address climate change are not drastic enough to prevent the damage the crisis has in store.

While it is tempting to assume that legislative bodies are solely responsible for solving the climate issue, action needs to be taken on all fronts. The individual also has a responsibility in this effort to secure a sustainable future for everyone.

Leading climate scientists at IPCC said that the challenge of keeping global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius has persisted due to governments refusing to prioritize environmental initiatives.

“This Synthesis Report underscores the urgency of taking more ambitious action and shows that, if we act now, we can still secure a livable, sustainable future for all,” IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee said in a statement.

The relentless increase in global greenhouse gas emissions in the last 200 years has contributed to frequent and intense weather events around the globe.

The world has already warmed by about 1.1 degrees Celsius, but this number is forecasted to rise. If levels exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next seven years, the harm to the Earth will be severe.

IPCC warns that countries must significantly limit greenhouse gas emissions because the irregularities they cause to the climate will lead to more dangerous impacts on nature and people.

The effects in the Northeast of the United States will consist of heat waves and heavy rainfall that will jeopardize infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries and ecosystems, forcing farmers to consider alternative crop possibilities.

A solution to climate change will appear much more feasible when individuals collectively become more conscious of the influence of their activities on the environment.

When enough people use less energy, the damage done to the environment is reduced. Advocating for cities to be walkable and have accessible public transportation can lessen the energy used from driving.

Solar panel company EnergySage suggests doing household tasks manually such as washing the dishes, thereby lessening household use of appliances that run on electricity.

Legally requiring energy-efficient appliances in newly built homes such as solar panels, batteries and heat pumps will also reduce collective energy consumption.

By requiring energy-efficient appliances, households will use less electricity, which is a quarter of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, according to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

UCAR also recommends shrinking the carbon footprint of food by promoting plant-based diets, planting trees and conserving forests.

Furthermore, people then need to hold their governments accountable for taking too long to enact necessary environmental protections. The effort started by the people will be amplified with the widespread support from their respective representatives.

There are viable actions that can be taken by both the government and the people to throw climate change off its course. But the first step is taking scientists at their word: change needs to happen now.