IPCC Report
© Corbett Report
Net zero targets must be brought forward by a decade to stop the "climate time bomb", the UN has said at the launch of a major new climate change report.

Rising emissions in recent years mean cuts in the next two decades will have to be more extreme than current plans, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said.

An 80 per cent global reduction in CO2 emissions is needed to limit warming to 1.5C, the upper aim of the Paris Agreement, its new report says.

But the UN said richer countries must move faster than developing nations, by "super-charging" their net zero goals and helping poorer countries cut their own emissions.

The UK, like most other developed nations, has set a target for net zero emissions by 2050, and its climate change advisers have said getting there quicker will "stretch feasibility".

Speaking at the launch of the report on Monday, Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, said "humanity is on thin ice - and that ice is melting fast."

Comment: All lies.

"The climate time bomb is ticking," he said, and added that the 1.5C limit was "achievable", but would require a "quantum leap in climate action".

Developed countries should "commit to reaching net zero as close as possible to 2040" while emerging countries, including China and India, should aim for 2050.

Chris Jones, from the Met Office Hadley Centre, and a co-author of the report said the scale of the global challenge was "massive".

"In 2020, during the Covid lockdowns, CO2 emissions dropped by about 6 per cent," he said. "So we need to achieve that year-on-year for the rest of this decade, and obviously we can't do that by locking people down."

Comment: Oh, but how they wish they could!

The new report, which brings together six other IPCC publications since 2018, was agreed at the end of weeklong talks in the Swiss town of Interlaken and will be the last report from the UN until 2030, considered to be a crunch point for reducing emissions.

It says cash flows to help developing countries reduce their emissions must be increased six times above current levels to keep climate change to 1.5C.

And it highlights that richer countries have a greater responsibility for climate change and emissions, with the 10 per cent of highest emitting households, generally the most wealthy, contributing about 40 per cent of all emissions. The bottom 50 per cent of highest emitters contribute just 13-15 per cent.

The report follows the push at the last Cop27 climate summit for compensation for poorer countries for the loss and damage caused by climate change. It will inform the next meeting, Cop28, to take place in the UAE later this year.

'Massive transformation'

Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at Oxford University, and a government adviser, said the UN was ignoring the reality of reaching more ambitious targets.

"The UN is very good at proposing targets, but what is patently obvious is the gap between the existing targets and what is actually happening on the ground - before we get to new targets," he said. "For the developed countries to get to net zero in 27 years is a big stretch. To do it in 17 years would take a massive transformation."

He added: "Reading the latest IPPC report is like being in parallel universes: the science is very clear; and so is the (lack of) progress to dealing with climate change."

Michal Liebreich, the founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance said the 2040 goal was "not feasible" and governments should instead "double down" on trying to stay below 2C.

"We're not going to achieve 1.5C. That doesn't mean we give up" he said. "We have to stop fooling ourselves. If we're going to find it hard enough to hit 2050, then screeching about 2040 is not actually helpful."

Governments must stop 'kicking can down the road'

Prof Peter Thorne, the director of the Icarus Climate Research Centre at Maynooth University, who helped write the report said it showed that "our lifestyle choices are unsustainable" and highlighted the need for urgent action.

"For too long climate change has been kicked to the next government or several governments," he said. "We can no longer afford to kick that can down the road. The current governments in every country in the world need to grapple with this problem urgently now."

The report underscores the findings that human activities have "unequivocally" caused global warming over the past 200 years

Comment: All lies.

The IPCC has previously warned that warming is likely to exceed 1.5C above industrial temperatures within the next decade.

Emissions will therefore have to be sucked up by carbon dioxide removal technologies, which are in their infancy, and massive tree planting, to have any hope of limiting warming to 1.5C, or reducing temperatures after overshooting.