The UN’s latest climate change report reveals that Earth might cross a critical threshold for global warming within 10 years, resulting in irreparable damage if drastic action is not taken to address the challenge.
FILE: Under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, virtually every nation agreed to pursue efforts to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Picture: Pixabay.com
JOHANNESBURG – Minister of Forestry, and Fisheries and Environment, Barbara Creecy said that more sectors in society need to respond to the climate emergency, adding that the action taken thus far is not enough to tackle the growing threats posed by climate change in the southern African region.
This follows the recent release of the United Nations’ (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
The IPCC is a UN body that brings together leading scientists to assess the evidence related to climate change.
The report revealed that Earth was likely to cross a critical threshold for global warming within the next decade, and nations will need to make an immediate and drastic shift away from fossil fuels to prevent the planet from overheating dangerously beyond that level.
In the past decade, there have been 15 times more deaths from droughts, floods, and storms in highly vulnerable regions, according to the report.
Under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, many nations agreed to pursue efforts to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Beyond that point, scientists said that the impact of catastrophic heat waves, flooding, and droughts will become significantly harder for humanity to handle.
“A recent example is Cyclone Freddy that killed hundreds of people in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, reminding us all that despite some progress to reduce climate risks, we remain ill-prepared for the existential threat posed by climate change,” said Department of Environmental Affairs spokesperson, Albi Modise.
Modise said there are various “tipping points” in the climate system that could, once crossed, result in catastrophic and irreversible change.
“When these risks combine with other adverse events, such as pollution, they become increasingly difficult to manage.”
Cyclone Freddy has claimed the lives of more than 400 people in southern Africa, and affected more than half a million people in Malawi, alone.
The storm dumped six months’ worth of rainfall in just six days, leaving a trail of destruction in its path.