Climate change report draws call for action from United Nations rights expert

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By midcentury, we have to reach net zero emissions. "But it will require unprecedented and collective climate action in all areas".

"My focus is making sure we actually do what we said we were going to do and then we can be more ambitious", McKenna said. "We've also committed to being carbon neutral by 2050", she says.

Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said on Monday in Geneva that there was "extreme urgency" needed on the part of Paris Agreement signatories, and "so far the progress hasn't been good enough" to keep temperature rises below even 2°.

In the 728-page document, the United Nations organization detailed how Earth's weather, health and ecosystems would be in better shape if the world's leaders could somehow limit future human-caused warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) rather than the 2C target agreed to at the Paris Agreement talks in 2015. "In totality, how the rest of the world handles the climate rogue behaviour of the Trump administration will decide whether the world meets the 1.5°C goal or not", Bhushan pointed out.

Limiting global warming to 1.5C will cost the world $2.4 trillion every year for the next two decades, the United Nations report warns. The world now pumps more than 40 billion tons of Carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year; the IPCC calls for that number to be cut by more than 1 billion tons per year over the next decade.

The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) presents the key findings of the Special Report, based on the assessment of the available scientific, technical and socio-economic literature relevant to global warming of 1.5 °C. A warming greater than 1.5°C is therefore not geophysically unavoidable: "whether it will occur depends on future rates of emission reductions".

Scientists predict that any higher than 1.5°C and the effects will be irreversible. Fewer ecosystems would be irreversibly lost. It could prevent as many as 2.5 million square kilometers of permafrost from melting over the long term.

"Any credible pathway to meeting the 1.5 degree scenario must focus on emissions rather than fuel", Katie Warrick, interim chief executive officer of the WCA, said after reviewing a draft of the report.

The panel met in South Korea recently to finalize the report.

The world needs to make decisions now for the future.

The report landed on the same day that the Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics to two American scientists for their work highlighting the role of government policy in promoting sustainable economic growth.

The report calls for huge changes in land, energy, industry, buildings, transportation and cities. We also will need to rely on carbon removal-whether that's as low-tech as planting trees or using new technology like direct air capture that can suck CO2 from the atmosphere.

This report shows the longer we wait, "the more hard, the more expensive and the more unsafe it will be", said Bill Hare, a physicist with the nonprofit group Climate Analytics.

The Nobel Prize-winning organisation said that the world was well off track in its goal of limiting global temperature rise to below 1.5ºC and heading for 2ºC or more. "Each year that the global economy fails to decarbonize at the required rate, the two-degree goal becomes more hard to achieve". As per the report climate change will significantly hamper the GDPs of developing economies such as India. While global warming might not be explicitly visible today, it has been constantly shaping the world that we live in. This report is our guiding document, it shows our current state, where we would like to be and what it is that we need to do to get there.

"That is where I think the politicians need to really start taking notice in Australia". Is now the time to call on government for legislation to go further?