Windfall Article

image: protesting for climate action

IPCC Climate Change Report:
Now is the Time to Re-strategize, Not Panic!

by Lolade Odeyemi

Since the dawn of industrialization, the world has seemingly remained on a marathon to repress impacts of climate change that have maintained a steady climb over decades, particularly as extreme shifts in weather conditions rage on in different regions. More than ever before, Climate Change is spiralling out of control due to increased human activities that have become more detrimental to our planet's ecosystem. As a result, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released its sixth assessment report to alert the world of the alarming spike in activities deepening climate change and call for immediate action. The IPCC is an arm of the United Nations that serves as the global climate change watchdog responsible for providing objective scientific information on human-induced climate change.

Details of the report forecast an unnerving future with the rising spate of climate change activities like greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, it is a timely wake-up call for global decision-makers to augment existing tactics and possibly launch new feasible strategies to tackle the menace quicker. The IPCC Working Group I Co-Chair, Valérie Masson-Delmrotte, who spoke on the report, said; This report is a reality check. We now have a much clearer picture of the past, present and future climate, which is essential for understanding where we are headed, what can be done, and how we can prepare.

The report emerged following fresh revelations of scientists who have observed a string of current unusual changes in the Earth's climate in every region and across the whole climate system. One of the distressing changes observed is the continued sea-level rise, which is irreversible in hundreds and probably thousands of years to come. Alas, there is an expected continuum with the changes in the climate system, traversing over hundreds of thousands of years, with new estimates reflecting a high probability of the world crossing the global warming level of 1.5°C in subsequent decades.

What does this mean for Canada? As one of the leading exporters of fossil fuels and part of the world's top emitters, the country is recording a more rapid climate change than many other countries at an average of 1.7 degrees jump since 1948. Sadly, an imminent regional temperature surge higher than global average temperatures will further drive up the impact of climate change on the nation. Already, we are faced with the aftermath of global warming, with people in different parts of Canada experiencing wildfires, floods, and intense heat waves.

While the federal, provincial and municipal government has made significant strides to cut emissions by creating the 'net-zero emission by 2050' policy, alongside funding initiatives that provide lasting solutions, a long road ahead to ridding the country of emissions, sector by sector, still exists. The current reality calls for a swift return to the drawing board to engage with strategists, industry professionals, climate change and environmental sustainability organizations to diversify paths that will lead to increased speed in effectively reducing emissions across all sectors in the country than in preceding years. This urgency, however, does not apply to Canada alone. Climate change affects the entire globe, and every country needs to play its part, as skewed disproportionate efforts will be counterproductive in reversing the impact of climate change on the world at large.

Though we are in a race against time, the glimmer of hope we must of necessity cling to is the IPCC report projection that highlights the possibility of progress contingent on expeditious steps taken in all quarters. The report recommends curtailing global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoiding disastrous tipping points, provided we stay the course to hit the 2050 net-zero emission mark globally. Moreover, renewable energy has become more affordable now than in the past, a glaring opportunity to be maximized in reducing emissions from energy use. Hence, making power and energy one less sector to worry about in the fight against emissions.

Ultimately, we all have our parts to play in the race to save our planet. From the government down to industry regulators, businesses, communities and individuals, a strengthened global coalition will do the course a lot of good. Rather than panic, now is the time to utilize the information as a weapon in our fight to tame this monster called Climate Change.