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IPCC latest report: Limiting global warming requires major transitions in the energy sector

"A terrible warning about the consequences of inaction". So Hoesung Lee, president of the Integovernative Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) commented on the publication of the third and final section of the powerful report drawn up by the United Nations agency, which has involved thousands of scientists from all over the world for seven years. The international community - the document stresses several times - has so far failed to trigger the required changes. Without a true change of direction, global temperatures will rise by more than 3 degrees, with catastrophic consequences for the entire planet. 

The report considers an increase in temperatures above 1.5 C almost inevitable as already reported last summer, a limit that already allows us to theorize irreversible effects on ecosystems, urban centers, infrastructures, food security. "Freezing" global warming, a phenomenon that began in the nineteenth century with the spread of industrial civilization, is possible. Action must be taken immediately; the IPCC strongly emphasizes. Greenhouse gas emissions, which will presumably reach their peak by 2025, can be halved by 2030.  

“Limiting global warming - the study states - will require major transitions in the energy sector. This will lead to a substantial reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels, widespread electrification, greater energy efficiency and the use of alternative fuels, such as hydrogen” (Read also our point of view in this article). 

A transition that can go further, says Priyadarshi Shukla, co-chair of the IPCC group who worked on the third section of the document: “Having the right policies, infrastructures and technologies in place to enable changes in our lifestyle and behaviors can bring a -70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Evidence also shows that these lifestyle changes can improve our health and well-being”. 

The use of coal must therefore be eliminated and that of methane reduced by at least one third. Forests must be preserved, but even massive planting of new trees cannot offset fossil fuel emissions. All sectors of the economy must radically change their energy "traditions", marrying innovative technologies such as hydrogen fuel and the capture and storage of carbon dioxide. The path to climate neutrality requires investments six times greater than those currently available, so much so that UN Secretary General Guterres harshly warned: "Some States and companies say one thing, but they act differently. Simply put, they lie. And the results will be catastrophic ". 

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