IPCC Global Climate Change Report Warns Massive CO2 Emissions Reductions Are Needed by 2030

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Source: NASA, “How Climate is Changing,” climate.nasa.gov (accessed Oct. 11, 2018)

On Oct. 8, 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a 700-page report as part of the Paris Agreement on climate change, stating that the world needs to enact substantial reductions in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 to avoid temperature increases above 1.5°C that could cause extreme heat, drought, floods, and poverty.

As part of the 2015 decision to adopt the Paris Agreement on climate change, which seeks to limit greenhouse gas emissions and prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5°C – 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the IPCC agreed to produce a special report in 2018 on the effects of global warming should temperatures increase 1.5°C from pre-industrial levels.

The new IPCC 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,” and that human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) “would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050.”

According to Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I, “one of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes.”

When President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement in 2017, he argued that the required reductions in greenhouse gas emissions had imposed “draconian financial and economic burdens” on the United States and created “serious obstacles” to energy development.


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C Approved by Governments,” ipcc.ch, Oct. 8, 2018

Umair Irfan, “Report: We Have Just 12 Years to Limit Devastating Global Warming,” vox.com, Oct. 8, 2018

Stephen Leahy, “Climate Change Impacts Worse Than Expected, Global Report Warns,” nationalgeographic.com, Oct. 7, 2018

Donald Trump, “Statement by President Trump on the Paris Climate Accord,” whitehouse.gov, June 1, 2017

Jonathan Watts, “We Have 12 Years to Limit Climate Change Catastrophe, Warns UN,” theguardian.com, Oct. 8, 2018