Energy Transition “Now or Never”, warns IPCC
The King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley may have had romance on his mind when he released his hit single “It’s Now or Never” in 1960, but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is singing an entirely different tune.
“It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C,” cautioned IPCC Co-Chair Jim Skea in a media release.
“In the scenarios we assessed, limiting warming to around 1.5°C requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43% by 2030. Even if we do this, it is almost inevitable that we will temporarily exceed this temperature threshold, but could return to below it by the end of the century.”
This grim statement comes with the latest report released on Monday – the last in a three-part series by the IPCC, with the next review cycle not expected for at least another five years.
The report finds that the energy sector will have to make major transitions in order to limit global warming. This involves a substantial reduction in fossil fuel use, widespread electrification, improved energy efficiency, and the use of alternative fuels such as hydrogen.
“This sector accounts for about a quarter of global emissions,” said the IPCC. “Achieving net zero will be challenging and will require new production processes, low and zero emissions electricity, hydrogen, and, where necessary, carbon capture and storage… This assessment shows that limiting warming to around 2°C still requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by a quarter by 2030.”