Currently— April 5th 2022

What you need to know, currently.

The third and final installment of the sixth iteration of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was released yesterday, April 4. It was slightly delayed, much to the dismay of climate journalists, because of disputes over the final wording. This release outlines what is needed to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

The findings are bleak but instructive, very clearly conveying that only immediate and drastic climate action will keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius. The 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold, set by the Paris climate agreement, is what scientists believe is needed to ensure the earth does not hit certain tipping points and wards off the worst effects of climate change.

The report makes it clear that globally we are off track. Based on the current emissions trajectory, the planet will warm by about 3.2 degrees Celsius above historical levels. Even if all the current national climate commitments were met, we would still warm to around 2.2 degrees Celsius.

Scientists say to meet these goals, we need to cut emissions in half by 2030. They also say that the solutions to meet this goal already exist, and are financially feasible. But add that the only thing stopping us is political will.

One major silver lining highlighted in the report is that over the past 30 years, the cost of solar and wind energy, which the report says is essential for achieving the 1.5 degree target, has fallen dramatically and are now competitive with fossil fuels.