SYDNEY, April 5 (Xinhua/APP): Australian authors from the newly-released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report have concluded that "transformational change" would be needed in every sector to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The report, titled Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change, was written by 278 scientists from 65 countries and regions and released to the public on Monday night local time.
The report noted that while the overall growth of greenhouse emissions had slowed in recent years, they were still at their highest levels in human history.
Peter Newman, Distinguished Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University and Coordinating and also the lead author on chapter 10 of the report, said the solutions to climate change were now within reach.
“While we roughly knew what to do 10 years ago, the past three years have seen a dramatic acceleration in solving this issue as the solutions are mainstreaming,” said Newman on Tuesday.
He noted that solar and wind were now the cheapest forms of energy in history as their cost has plummeted over the last decade.
A March report from climate and energy think tank, Ember, revealed that in 2021, 10 percent of global electricity came from wind and solar, and combined with other forms of clean energy, this figure reached 38 percent of global energy use.
Newman said that “progress is never fast enough” and governments would need to reform the economy to fully address the problem.
Thomas Wiedmann, an expert in sustainability at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the lead author of chapter 2 of the report, said that global inequality was at the heart of the slow pace of change.
According to the report, the richest 10 percent of the world’s households, including those in Australia, contribute about 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions while the bottom 50 percent contribute less than 15 percent.
“And half of all emissions from aviation are caused by the top 1 percent alone,” said Wiedmann.
Wiedmann said that “transformational change” in every sector and region would be needed over the next several years to reach the 43 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 as outlined in the Paris Agreement. “Incremental change is not sufficient.”