Written by Jong Ching Yee

What happened?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a report on the impact of global warming if the rise of global temperatures were to be capped at 1.5°C. Scientists explained that there would bring greater benefits than if the rise of global temperatures was capped at 2°C.

The new study predicts that humans will exceed the 1.5°C limit within the next 12 years. By then, it could be too late for us to manage the situation. Environmental organisations such as Greenpeace have urged authorities to take action given the existing literature and evidence which heavily supports the presence and consequences of global warming.

Why is this significant?

As the world is closely interlinked, the effects of global warming can be felt throughout the world to various extent. According to IPCC, if global temperatures were to increase by 2°C, the coral reefs, Arctic, and small-scale fisheries will face irreversible damage. The main issue is that even if humans are aware of the potential consequences of global warming, no one is certain how humans can keep to the temperature limit we impose on ourselves. After all, global warming is part of climate change and the latter has even more repercussions on the world.

The IPCC face huge challenges. They lack the technology to eliminate emissions from fossil fuels and are largely unable to get governmental support. The reason behind the lack of support from political leaders has been attributed to the huge costs that will accompany in our efforts to tackle global warming. The report identified that to achieve the goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C, an average of $2.4 trillion will have to be spent annually between 2016 and 2035. Few countries are willing to invest such a significant amount into tackling global warming, but if we fail to take action now, we will start living in greater danger.

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