A UN climate report has predicted the worst of global warming, stating that extreme heat waves, floods, and droughts are to be expected more frequently in the coming decade.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that human activities are “unequivocally” the cause of global warming and that drastic cuts to greenhouse emissions are necessary to keep the global temperature under the 1.5C (2.7F) warming threshold.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres further emphasized the seriousness of the situation by calling the report a “code red for humanity.”
“The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk,” he said in a statement. “Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible
“This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels before they destroy our planet.”
In the response to the report, leaders around the world have released statements to help battle the problems society might soon face in the wake of climate change.
“Today’s report makes for sobering reading, and it is clear that the next decade is going to be pivotal to securing the future of our planet,” British PM Boris Johnson said.
U.S. President Joe Biden also weighed in on the issue earlier this week: “We can’t wait to tackle the climate crisis. The signs are unmistakable. The science is undeniable. And the cost of inaction keeps mounting.”
The rising of global temperatures to 1.5C could prove devastating to a world already ridden with mounting natural disasters. Just this year, intense heat waves have wreaked havoc across the Pacific Northwest, while devastating floods have hit unsuspecting countries like Germany and Belgium.
Currently, Greece and Turkey are also experiencing the worst wildfires the countries have ever seen, and according to the IPCC report, the worst is yet to come.
In November, political leaders have a chance to slow down the damage at the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. Regarded as the most important climate crisis meeting since the 2015 Paris summit, the decisions made in Glasgow will determine how the world will handle global warming in the coming years.