UN experts have released a new report highlighting the serious consequences of man-made climate change.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today published its latest report this highlighting the potentially devastating impact of climate change on the planet.
According to the findings, some of the effects are already being felt, particularly in the natural environment and agricultural lands. A fairly small number of species have already become extinct, while oceans are slowly becoming slightly more acidic and glaciers continue to melt.
But the effect most likely to make governments sit up and take notice is that global warming has already had a negative impact on maize and wheat crops in some key international regions, which in turn may be linked to rising world food prices.
Today’s report is the second in a series of three IPCC documents. In September, the first study set out the evidence which led IPCC to conclude that humans are extremely likely to be responsible for climate change, while next month will see a second publication aimed at setting out some measures to limit the damage and prevent further changes.
Dr Steve Priddy, head of research at LSBF, explains that IPCC now needs to focus on the opportunities for innovation that a shift in attitudes towards climate change will provide. “These can range from the disruption wrought by exponential reductions in the learning curve costs of wind and particularly solar technologies, Tesla’s messianic vision for electric cars in every household, the ‘circular economy’ and its impacts on the mundane objects of everyday life such as washing machines and commercial trucks, or the retrofitting of weather-sensitive infrastructure,” says Dr Priddy.
“Certainly adaptation and mitigation will lead to losers in terms of costs, but it will also reward entrepreneurship and vision.”
Although this is likely to mean huge investment in anti-climate change measures over the coming decades, Dr Priddy says that it will inevitably be worthwhile.
“The costs are significant, almost as significant as the sums diverted from public finances to support the banking system. But while these latter do no more than return us to a status quo of 2007, chasing the goal of a low carbon future opens up a new world of opportunity with the chance to address some of the social ills – vast inequality, access to clean water – that have accumulated for householders around the world over the last two decades,” adds Dr Priddy
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