Point five of a degree in temperature may seem small and insignificant, yet it’s the huge difference in ensuring the impacts of climate change remain at a ‘safe’ level. The “1.5 to stay alive” call by Small Island Developing States on the international climate change stage has resulted in a global victory.
Just how much of a difference half a degree in temperature can make for the planet and mankind will be spelt out with the launch of a special scientific report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change.
“The findings emerging from the IPCC 1.5˚C Special Report highlight that limiting warming to 1.5°C would avoid the most drastic impacts of climate change but still entail huge challenges for the Pacific region” said IMPACT Regional Scientist Paddy Pringle of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
“Limiting warming to 1.5°C is feasible however increased near-term ambition is essential. Our actions in the next decade will be decisive. We hope that this special IPCC report will provide us with the scientific basis to move from talking to action”.
In October the approval of the 1.5°C Special Report Summary for Policy Makers will be approved through a special session bringing together governments and IPCC focal points.
SPREP worked in partnership with Climate Analytics through the IMPACT Project, bringing the SPREP Island Member IPCC focal points and climate change officers together in July to prepare for this special conference session.
The report was announced two years ago and since then work has been underway to contribute to the special report for which a Summary for Policy Makers has been developed and underwent final government review which ended on 29 July. It is now being prepared for acceptance.
“Our teams spent several days with Pacific negotiators and the IPCC national focal points last month. going through the 1.5 Special Report preparing for the next stages. This report is crucial for our Pacific Islands, it was their efforts and that of other SIDS that helped make this report a reality,” said Ms Tagaloa Cooper, Director of the Climate Change Division of SPREP.
“Our team worked with Climate Analytics to help enhance the work of our Pacific island Members and to help ensure we work through the next stage as a cohesive island region. This is the science that explains just how much our island lifestyle and communities are affected unless we do more to achieve the 1.5 goal.”
Other reports the IPCC are working on include a Special report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate to be released in 2019 along with the Special Report on Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.
Also to come in 2019 are the Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, then the Working Group I, II, and III contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report in 2021 and Synthesis Report to the Sixth Assessment Report April 2022.
For further information on the IPCC and their scientific reports, please visit: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/
For further information please contact Mr Patrick Pringle, the Climate Analytics Regional Scientist based SPREP [email protected]