The most recent report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) raises louder alarms regarding the increasing threat that climate change poses to the world. The agency demands that carbon emissions peak within the next three years, then plummet quickly afterward to prevent irreversible damage from rising global temperatures.
In which case, researchers working with the IPCC presented several critical areas that humanity needs to address if it is to be able to protect the world from further environmental damage.
Nix Fossil Fuels for Good
The use of fossil fuels, specifically mined coal, needs to end very soon if we want to keep the world under 1.5 degrees Celsius. According to the team behind the IPCC study, carbon emissions need to peak by 2025 and drop by around 43% by 2030.
The most viable solution for this is to make a long-term switch to sustainable power sources like solar facilities and wind farms. However, this might pose a challenge in Europe, particularly in light of the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Although the war has driven several countries to resort to carbon-dense coal as an alternative to Russian gas, experts agree that no one should even think of building new coal-powered generation plants.
Indeed, as IPCC coordinating lead author Prof. Jan Christoph Minx of the University of Leeds puts it, the age of fossil fuels needs to end – and it needs to end as soon as possible.
Consider Advanced Technological Solutions
While using technology to address climate change was once considered science-fiction, researchers are now seriously looking into tech fixes to deal with the issue.
Still, many environmentalists have complained about using technology for climate control, citing it as the IPCC kowtowing to the demands of fossil fuel-centric nations. However, Linda Schneider of Germany’s Heinrich Böll Foundation says it is a necessary “evil,” given the worldwide slow phase-out of fossil fuel use.
Iceland has already led the way with air-capture orbs that draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and transform it into a rock-like material that could be used in construction. However, other technologies are still in the conceptual or prototype stages and may take time before these can be used in the global mainstream.
Reducing the World’s Appetite for Energy
The increasing demand for power throughout the world is seen as a pressing threat to the environment. Growing populations have an insatiable need for electricity for everyday living. The carbon footprints of individual nations are expanding as they build infrastructure to meet their citizens’ basic needs.
Researchers opine that nations need to rethink their strategies concerning mobility, nutrition, and shelter. Among the recommended measures are those related to mitigating food waste, diets that are more plant-based than animal-centric, sustainable urban planning, and viable and eco-friendly solutions for public transport.
The Financial Cost of Climate Change
Another issue that needs to be addressed is the erroneous mindset that becoming more eco-friendly will be expensive for many nations, particularly developing countries.
But experts agree that incorporating climate-centric initiatives in national budgets is considerably lower than the cost of repairing environmental damage – and that is something that the IPCC wants governments to keep in mind as the world moves forward.