As global warming accelerates, 195 countries begin Monday to approve a landmark scientific report on its devastating effects, which will no doubt paint a bleak picture of the future humanity must prepare for.
After more than a century and a half of economic development using fossil fuels, the world has risen about +1.1°C compared to the pre-industrial era, when heat waves, droughts, storms or devastating floods have already increased.
In the first part of their report published last August, UN climate experts (IPCC) estimate that by 2030, ten years earlier than expected, the mercury would reach the +1.5°C threshold, the most ambitious target of the United Nations. Paris Agreement.
Ahead of a third work in April on solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the second, whose negotiations begin Monday, will look at the impacts of global warming and how we can prepare for it (“adaptation”). It must avert these consequences on all continents and in all their aspects: health, food security, water shortage, displacement of populations, destruction of ecosystems…
“Life on the planet is affected by climate change and many systems are reaching their limits (…). We also have our limits. Like other species, our living space is shrinking.said Hans-Otto Pörtner a few days ago, co-chair of the group of nearly 300 scientists who prepared this report.
A preliminary version of this text, which AFP received last June, showed that life as we know it would inevitably change in the short term.
The world is already witnessing disasters at work on almost all continents. Like last year with the flames that ravaged the American West, Greece or Turkey, floods that inundated regions of Germany or China, or a thermometer approaching 50°C in Canada.
“Good kick on…”
Faced with this observation and the need to cut emissions by nearly 50% by 2030 in order not to exceed +1.5°C, the world pledged at COP26 in Glasgow in November to step up the fight against global warming. feed.
“Not enough” to avert “the climate catastrophe that is always knocking at the door,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, calling in particular for coal to be phased out.
As states are called upon to strengthen their ambition by COP27 in Egypt by the end of 2022, “I hope this report will be a good kick for some where I think”US climate envoy John Kerry told AFP.
Even if “we shouldn’t need disturbing new statistics to know what to do.”
This new assessment of the IPCC will be unveiled on February 28, after two weeks of virtual meeting of the 195 member states who will go through line by line, word by word, the “Summary for decision-makers”, a politically sensitive summary of the thousands of pages of the full scientific report.
Evolution compared to the previous report seven years ago, the focus on “adaptation”, ie the solutions to cope with the consequences of climate change.
“The focus on (adaptation) solutions is not just a shopping list of what could be, but also an assessment of effectiveness and feasibility” measures, the other IPCC group co-chair Debra Roberts explained.
Maize “There are limits to adaptation”underlines to AFP the climatologist Laurent Bopp, one of the authors of the report.
“If the temperature exceeds very high levels in some areas, human life is no longer possible. If the sea level rises by more than one meter in certain coastal areas, protection with dikes is no longer possible. So in some scenarios we can expect large population migrations.”he adds.
Scientists and NGOs are calling for all necessary decisions to be taken to limit irreversible consequences as much as possible.
With the new report “The reality of those living in the most vulnerable situations will be impossible to ignore”hopes Kaisa Kosonen of Greenpeace.
“The indisputable facts that will be presented will make the inaction and commitment of major issuers more apparent, and the call for justice even stronger.”