IPCC: 2°C no longer safe. Coalition calls for higher EU ambition

(eceee news, 9 Oct 2018) The new report from IPCC makes a strong case for keeping temperature rise within 1.5°C. The Coalition for Higher Ambition calls on European ministers to adopt a COP24 position that shows a commitment on behalf of the EU to increase its 2030 target before 2020 in line with the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement.

The report from IPCC – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – was ordered and endorsed by all world’s governments and released on 8 October, one day ahead of the EU Environment Ministers meeting expected to adopt the EU’s position for the upcoming UN Climate Summit COP24.

"The New IPCC report clearly shows that we need to step up our efforts. We have no time to lose", says Nils Borg, eceee’s Executive Director. “It is clear that every fraction of a degree centigrade matters”, he added.

A Statement from the Coalition for Higher Ambition – a coalition of businesses, associations, investor groups, trade unions, local and regional authorities, and civil society organisations (including eceee) –  calls on the European ministers to adopt a COP24 position that shows a commitment on behalf of the EU to increase its 2030 target before 2020 in line with the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement. See also press release from Climate Action Network.

The statement from the Coalition for Higher Ambition also calls upon the ministers to support at least the target proposed by the European Parliament's Environment Committee as a minimum threshold of the transport sector's contribution to the decarbonisation of the European economy.

According to IPCC, many of the dire consequences of future warming can be avoided if global average temperature rise can be kept below 1.5°C. It also confirmed that it is still possible physically and technically, but that reaching the goal requires a rapid and far-reaching shift across all sectors of the economy. 1.5°C will save the majority of the world's plant and animal species from climate change.

Staying within 1.5°C means we may be able to avoid a cascade of tipping points, such as the loss of polar ice, which would bring abrupt and irreversible changes to the way we live. It will significantly reduce the risks especially for the low-income countries and people living in poverty.

For instance, compared to 2°C rise, 1.5°C will mean 10 cm lower sea levels by 2100, which will save homes of millions of people living on coastlines or islands.

Any level of warming comes with dangerous impacts, but there is a substantial difference between restraining temperatures to 1.5°C and to 2°C, and temperatures beyond 3°C, which is the pathway we are currently on.

Read the new IPCC report
Links to the new IPCC report are provided here