Governments must act faster to curb climate change and move from fossil fuels towards renewable energy.
That is the finding of a report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting in Berlin.
A shift to low-carbon energy such as wind or nuclear power would only shave .06 of a percentage point off annual world economic growth: “You could say, it does not cost the world to save the planet. So at least it seems to me this could be an appropriate summary of the cost table,” said IPCC member Ottmar Edenhofer.
IPCC chairman, Rajendra Pachauri warned that results could only be achieved with a united effort: “One major finding that we have is that effective mitigation will not be achieved if individual agents advance their own interest independently. And therefore, may I submit that this report brings out the need for an unprecedented level of international cooperation.”
Environmental groups applauded the report which has been endorsed by governments, and is meant as the main scientific guide for nations to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.
Speaking for Greenpeace Kaisa Kosonen said: “There is certainly hope. This is the strong message of this report; that we have the solutions; we have still time to prevent dangerous climate change and its not going to cost us money, it’s actually going to save us money, and its just about speeding up the good trends that are already happening and accepting the fact that we just have to get rid of fossil fuels in the long term.”
Governments have promised to limit temperature rises to a maximum 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times to avert ever more heat waves, floods, droughts and rising sea levels that the report says are linked to man-made warming.