Planet has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, experts warn

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A "Summary for Policymakers" of the 400-page tome underscores how quickly global warming has outstripped humanity's attempts to tame it, and outlines stark options - all requiring a makeover of the world economy - for avoiding the worst ravages of climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate (IPCC) change has released a dramatic report warning that there are less than 12 years for global warming to be kept below 1.5°C.

The report warns the world is set to breach the 1.5C threshold by around 2040 and is heading for 3C by 2100 and even warmer after that. It calls for urgent action to get climate change under control and warns of dire consequences if we fail. "There is no time to waste", he said.

"The coming period is critical".

"Considering the urgency to rapidly decarbonise, the world needs a "Plan B", as the Plan A - the Paris Agreement - will push the world towards catastrophic warming".

It examined pathways available to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, what it would take to achieve them and what the consequences could be.

Earth is already two-thirds of the way to reaching this disastrous level, and according to co-chair of the IPCC, Panmao Zhai, the planet is already feeling the effects through more extreme weather, rising sea levels, and diminishing Arctic sea.

Didier Roche, President of the EGU Climate: Past, Present and Future Division, highlighted the differences between the two global warming limits included in the Paris climate agreement as analysed in detail in SR15: "You might think that 1.5°C versus 2°C is a small difference".

Also in Geneva, a United Nations rights expert warned that failing to do more to address climate change risked "locking in decades" of grave violations.

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EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas welcomed the report by the United Nations body, which provides policy-makers across the globe with a strong scientific basis for their efforts to modernise the economy, tackle climate change, promote sustainable development and eradicate poverty. From a climate impacts perspective, half a degree is massive as shown in this excellent visual below from the World Resources Institute on the report.

But the report, published today, starkly illustrates that letting temperature rises climb more than 1.5°C will lead to sea-level rises, more frequent heavy rainstorms and heatwaves, greater drought, widespread disease and more economic losses.

Drastic, "unprecedented" effort by the world's governments is needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C, according to a landmark report by the world's leading body on climate change.

The report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require "rapid and far-reaching" transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities.

Overall, the Earth has to reduce the amount of Carbon dioxide produced each year by 45 per cent by 2030 - and reduce Carbon dioxide production to zero by 2050. At 1.5 degrees, fewer species would go extinct.

The effectiveness of such techniques are unproven at large scale and some may carry significant risks for sustainable development, the report notes.

The new report will feed into a process called the 'Talanoa Dialogue, ' in which parties to the Paris accord will take stock of what has been accomplished over the past three years.

Issued two months before the global climate talks in Katowice, Poland, the report provides a timely input for the Commission's proposal for a strategy for long-term European Union greenhouse gas emissions reductions, to be presented in November, the EC said on October 8.

In June 2017, Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate agreement, which sought to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.