World ‘is to heat up by 1.5C a decade earlier’: Planet is likely to warm far more quickly than expected, bombshell UN report warns
- Scientists expect temperatures to rise by 1.5C above pre-industrial levels early
- Expected 2030 and 2052 but now believed to happen between now and 2040
- Comes as record heatwaves, wildfires and floods hit countries around the world
The Earth is likely to warm by 1.5C up to a decade earlier than previously expected, a bombshell United Nations report will warn today.
Scientists had expected temperatures to rise by 1.5C above pre-industrial levels between 2030 and 2052 but now believe it will happen between this year and 2040.
The 1.5C mark is considered to be the point where climate change becomes increasingly dangerous. The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change committed countries to limiting warming to 1.5C but they have already risen by 1.2C.
Local residents look at the wildfire approaching the village of Gouves on Evia, Greece
Today’s report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was produced by 200 scientists from 60 countries.
It is the first comprehensive assessment of the science of climate change since 2013 and offers the starkest warning yet about the speed and scale of warming.
It comes as record heatwaves, wildfires and floods hit countries around the world.
An interim report published in 2018 said global warming was likely to reach 1.5C between 2030 and 2052.
But the new IPCC forecasts will bring this window forward a decade to between 2021 and 2040, according to The Sunday Times.
The document is predicted to trigger a ‘turning point’ in the run-up to the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow in November.
Cabinet minister Alok Sharma, who is Cop26 president, said countries must work harder to reduce emissions and ensure the threshold is not breached.
He added: ‘This report will be a big wake-up call for countries to do even more. Glasgow will be about keeping 1.5C in reach.
‘It will genuinely be a decisive moment in history.’
Cabinet minister Alok Sharma, who is Cop26 president, said countries must work harder to reduce emissions and ensure the threshold is not breached
The 2018 IPCC report warned that overshooting the 1.5C limit would mean more extreme weather, greater sea-level rises and damage to health, wildlife and crops.
In Greece yesterday, ferries carried hundreds of tourists and residents to safety as wildfires raged on the island of Evia.
More than 2,000 people have been evacuated from the island in the past week.
The inferno was among dozens in Greece after temperatures soared to 45C (113F).
Fire crews from London, Merseyside, Lancashire, Wales and the West Midlands flew to Athens at the weekend to help.
No 10 fears carbon target will hurt Red Wall voters
Boris Johnson’s ‘net zero’ plans have been thrown into doubt over fears that ‘Red Wall’ voters will bear the brunt of the costs.
A Treasury review of the costs of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 has been delayed since the spring.
The report has yet to be published over fears that it will be politically toxic in the northern Red Wall seats won from Labour by the Tories in the last election, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is also said to be increasingly concerned about the surging cost of lowering greenhouse emissions.
Moves to decarbonise the economy include replacing gas boilers and switching to electric or hydrogen cars – which involve huge upfront costs. Ministers are said to be working on plans to achieve net zero without disproportionately ‘clobbering’ the finances of poorer families.
It comes after the Daily Mail revealed on Saturday that a court has told climate policy chiefs to show why they think reaching net zero will cost only 1.3 per cent of GDP. The target is the centrepiece of Mr Johnson’s Cop26 strategy – but other countries have put a much higher cost on the same goal.
A Government spokesman said: ‘At every step on the path to net zero, this government will put affordability and fairness at the heart of our reforms such as through investing £1.3billion into keeping bills low.’