Action needed now on climate change: IPCC Chief

SINGAPORE: As nations prepare to agree on a global agreement to combat climate change in Paris next year, the stakes have been raised for next month’s conference in Lima, Peru, when international negotiators are expected to deliver a draft of the agreement before they meet again in Paris.

And just ahead of the Lima conference, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its 5th Assessment Report calling for a dramatic shift away from fossil fuels.

The report will be one of the main tools policymakers will lean on as they attempt to hammer out the deal that will balance the priorities of individual countries with the steps necessary to combat global warming.

In an exclusive interview with 938LIVE, IPCC Chief Dr Rajendra Pachauri said he is encouraged by the level of support for the report and that he has noticed a substantial increase in the level of awareness on issues related to climate change.

Dr Pachauri said the final summary report recently released was tailored for the non-specialist audience, and is a comprehensive tool for decision-makers to take steps to tackle climate change.

WORLD RUNNING OUT OF TIME

The IPCC Chief reiterated that the world is running out of time and that it needs to get on with action not just to delay or eliminate the effects of climate change, but also to bring temperature increases within acceptable limits.

“If the world has decided on limiting it to 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, then at least that should be the target we should be able to meet. Because if you postpone action, then the cost of mitigation will go up. We would find it very, very difficult to mitigate in order to maintain temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.”

He added that the world has no choice but to adopt the twin strategies of mitigation and adaptation to deal with the effects of climate change.

On the process of putting together the mammoth report, Dr Pachauri said he is particularly proud of the fact that the content of the assessment report has the complete approval and acceptance of the authors. He said it was written in a manner which reflected a genuine partnership between governments and authors.

Going forward, he said the current process of putting together the assessment reports remains effective and that he does not see the need for any substantial change. The system has worked extremely well over the years and has in fact become better, he said.

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