Scottish Government to seek new advice on climate change targets

Lovelyn Cesar 22 carries her one year old baby Matthew as she cross a flooded street in a suburb of Manila after two histor

Lovelyn Cesar 22 carries her one year old baby Matthew as she cross a flooded street in a suburb of Manila after two histor

Hoesung Lee, Chair of IPCC says, "Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees is not impossible but will require unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society".

A new United Nations report warns of the unprecedented changes needed by society to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

"The next few years are probably the most important in our history", said Debra Roberts, co-chair of IPCC Working Group II, in a statement.

An increase of 1.5C will still carry climate-related risks for nature and mankind, but at a lower level than a rise of 2C, the report summary said.

The planet is already two-thirds of the way there, with global temperatures having warmed about 1 degree Celsius.

The report is comprehensive, citing over 6,000 scientific references, and its basic message is this: limiting warming to a rise of 1.5 degrees compared with pre-industrial levels will require an unprecedented amount of effort, but a rise of 2 degrees would be far more harmful and ultimately more costly, too.

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Experts across the globe have put their collective heads together to deliver a landmark report on the potentially devastating impact of climate change - and their conclusions are not good news. Even a fraction of additional warming would worsen the impact, said the report, warning that he world is off track to meet its 2015 Paris Agreement commitment to keep the average global temperatures "well below" 2°C. But for almost every component of the climate system, the SR15 report shows that limiting the warming to 1.5°C will make our life and our children's life easier when it comes to mitigation and adaptation.

The report would become a key scientific basis for the COP24 to the UNFCCC, scheduled for December in Poland, according to the IPCC.

This means no more Carbon dioxide should be put out than is being removed by current measures, such as planting trees.

Although the report says that emissions would not be the sole contributor to temperatures above 1.5°C, the future rates of emission reductions will determine whether temps rise.

"Limiting warming to 1.5ºC is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes."

We have seen numerous reports about the irreparable damage being done to coral reefs across the world, with warming temperatures and pollution leading to mass bleaching in many parts of the world's oceans.

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Renewables would have to supply 70% to 85% of electricity in 2050, there would be a small role for gas power with technology that captured and stored its carbon, while coal would be virtually non-existent.

Scottish Greens' co-convener Patrick Harvie said: "We've always challenged the government to go further in its response to risky climate change".

The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5 °C, compared with at least once per decade with 2 °C.

But the report said some measures, such as planting forests, bioenergy use or capturing and storing CO2, remained unproven on a large scale and carried some risks.

While more than 180 countries have accepted the report's summary, the USA (which is the second biggest emitter in the world) said that their acceptance of the report does not "imply endorsement" of the findings.

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