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Responding to the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on keeping global warming to 1.5C, Christian Aid Ireland called for urgent action to bring rising temperatures under control.

Dr Kat Kramer, Christian Aid’s Global Climate Lead, who has been following negotiations throughout the week in South Korea, said it could be summed up in two key messages:

“The IPCC scientists have done an amazing job synthesizing over 6000 scientific studies into a comprehensive report on how to limit climate change to manageable levels. Distilled down to its essence, it gives two key messages: one of hope – we can limit climate change to 1.5C of warming and avoid the worst impacts of climate change – and one of urgency – we need to decarbonize as much as possible, as fast as possible, including halving global emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050.”

“A failure to act can lead to irreversible impacts and even to tipping points that can lead to global warming spiralling out of control. The challenge is now for world leaders and policymakers to keep fossil fuels in the ground, invest in renewables, and in resilience measures to keep their people safe from existing climate risks. They need to be ready to respond to this scientific report with ambitious pledges to act, backed by real plans of action. Individuals too can play an important role in their lifestyle choices, such as eating less meat and dairy, and consuming less energy. We all share this one fragile planet together and so need to act in solidarity with the poorest and most vulnerable, those who will be impacted the most if we fail to act.”

Jennifer Higgins, Policy and Advocacy Adviser at Christian Aid Ireland said:

“Ireland, and the EU, must sign up to increasing their climate ambition by 2020 at this December's UN Climate Negotiations in Poland, and commit to sustainable pathways to staying below 1.5°C, while it is still possible.”
Ms Higgins described Ireland’s carbon emissions as ‘sky-high’:

“Ireland is the third highest producer of carbon emissions per person in the EU, and eighth in the OECD. Our polluting emissions increased by 3.7% in 2015. Ireland is one of seven EU Member States which is set to miss its 2020 emission reduction targets but we are the only one of the seven where emissions are predicted to continue rising. There has never been a more important time for the Government to act on this.”

The IPCC special report on global warming of 1.5°C, launched at a press conference in Korea at 2am Irish Time on Monday 8th October, is the most important climate science report of the decade. Ordered and endorsed by all states including Ireland, it shows that many of the dire consequences of future warming can be avoided by respecting this limit. The importance of this report lies in its assessment of current knowledge on global and regional climate change. It provides new insights into the impacts and risks at  1.5°C global warming above pre-industrial levels compared to 2°C or higher.