Published on Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Global | Climate change mitigation: emergency in the middle of a disaster

The disaster resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine has diverted much of the attention away from the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), but we need to take notice of it — not least because its conclusions are not particularly favorable.

Key points

  • Key points:
  • It is not enough that the growth in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has halved over the past decade: we need to cut emissions through greater energy efficiency, in particular, by using far more non-fossil fuels.
  • More than 60% of the world's electricity continues to come from fossil fuels, and at their current rate of replacement with renewable sources, the target of net zero by 2050 will not be reached. More is needed, including accelerating the rollout of carbon capture.
  • Achieving this requires ambitious policies. The IPCC recognizes the progress made in carbon prices, which cover over 20% of global emissions, though at levels which are too low to be sufficiently effective.
  • The IPCC also estimates that current financial flows are three to six times below the existing investment needs and higher still in developing countries, often more vulnerable and debt-ridden, which should be helped as much from a sense of fairness as efficacy.
  • Increasing international climate financing will very much depend on risk premiums being reduced — with institutions and public-private partnership schemes being prepared to share risk.

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