UN Panel Warns of the Dire Consequences of Climate Change

Humanity is on thin Ice – and that ice is melting fast," says UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Last week, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its latest assessment on global efforts to address climate change and the dire consequences of not limiting temperature rise to 2.7  degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius).   The release of this report will most certainly increase focus on what we must do to address climate change and increase pressure to double down on those efforts in light of the message from the IPCC.  Businesses must be ready to respond and lead the conversation around solutions. 

The IPCC Report was characterized as the final warning before 1.5C of warming is locked in, from which point effects on the climate become irreversible.   We are currently at a 1.1 C increase, and the IPCC concluded that GHG increases must stop by 2025 to have any chance to stay below the 1.5 C target and that dramatic action is needed.   To keep within the 2.7 F  (1.5 C) increase, emissions need to be reduced by 43% by 2030 compared to 2019 and at least 60% by 2035.  

Everyone Should be Part of the Solution

The Secretary-General called on CEOs of all oil and gas companies to be part of the solution and present plans detailing actual emission cuts for 2025 and 2030 and efforts to change business models to phase out fossil fuels and scale up renewable energy.  Key measures to achieve the reductions include:

Source: IPCC Report/World Resources Institute

The report also found that losses and damage disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable populations, creating a tipping point toward more poverty.

Adaptation options that are feasible and effective today will become constrained and less effective with increased global warming.   The report also notes that while measures are being taken to address adaptation, the financial resources committed to the effort fall far short of what is needed. Investments in innovations will be vital to reaching ambitious goals. Companies with innovative climate solutions can differentiate themselves in the market.


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Bob Martineau, JD
Bob Martineau, JDhttp://finnpartners.com
Bob Martineau, J.D. is a Senior Partner at Finn Partners, focusing on Purpose and Social Impact - Environment. He has spent more than 30 years in the environmental and public health arena representing clients in the health care, manufacturing, and energy sectors. He is a former Federal and State official in environmental affairs and recently a Commissioner of a state agency supervising environmental and energy programs and 56 state parks.
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