Monday’s climate mitigation report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows it’s still possible to hold global warming to 1.5°C, with little or no overshoot and no reliance on speculative carbon dioxide removal technologies—but only with much faster government action and a sixfold increase in annual funding for solutions that work.
“The bleak and brutal truth about global warming is this: barring action on a sweeping scale, humanity faces worsening hunger, disease, economic collapse, mass migration of people, and unbearable heat,” said Oxfam Climate Policy Lead Nafkote Dabi. “It’s not about taking our foot off the accelerator anymore—it’s about slamming on the brakes. A warming planet is humanity’s biggest emergency.”
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“Since the last report, technologies have significantly improved, and the costs of solutions like solar, wind and batteries have declined by up to 85%,” said IPCC lead author Dr. Stephanie Roe, global climate and energy lead scientist at WWF. “ We clearly have the tools to tackle the climate crisis, but they need to be deployed more rapidly and at a larger scale to keep 1.5ºC within reach and reduce the severity of climate impacts.”
“Governments agreed in this IPCC report that solar and wind power as well as energy efficiency have the largest economic potentials to cut carbon pollution the most by 2030,” followed by “protection of pristine forests and restoration of degraded ecosystems and a shift to plant-based, low-carbon diets,” said Dr. Stephan Singer, senior advisor at Climate Action Network International. “We also urge governments and particularly the large carbon polluters to immediately implement the findings showing that investments in clean technologies have to grow by up to six times annually on average until 2030 to have a chance to stay in the survival trajectory of no more than 1.5°C global warming.”
“This catalogue of pain, loss and suffering must be a wake-up call to everyone,” said Climate Action Network Zimbabwe National Coordinator Wellington Madumira. “The super-rich are racing through the planet’s small remaining carbon budget for limiting global warming to 1.5°C,” while “people living in the most affected countries do not need these IPCC reports to tell them that the climate has changed. The highest price is already being paid by climate-related disasters—including floods, droughts, cyclones, wildfires to name but a few—with increasing frequency and intensity.”
“You can feel the scientists’ frustration that mountains of evidence isn’t yet driving the radical action needed to meet global climate goals,” said ActionAid International Climate Justice Lead Teresa Anderson. “The IPCC report delivers a clear warning that reliance on technofixes and tree plantations to solve the problem not only amount to wishful thinking, but would drive land conflicts and harm the food, ecosystems, and communities already hardest hit by the climate crisis.”
“This report shows that while some sectors are heading in the right direction, climate change is moving faster than we are,” said WWF’s global IPCC lead, Dr. Stephen Cornelius. “We cannot hold on any longer to the polluting fossil fuels that are wrecking our climate and destroying the natural world on which we all depend.”
“Today’s IPCC report confirms that the world is on the brink of unprecedented change,” said Eddy Pérez, international climate diplomacy manager at Climate Action Network-Canada. That means “governments face a choice. They can either seize this moment of transformation to build a more just world by accelerating climate action, and putting the needs of communities, Indigenous Peoples, and workers first. Or they can remain complacent amidst escalating destruction, conflict, and poverty, and allow the fossil fuel industry to burn our chance for a livable future.”
“Governments need to respond to this report in two ways,” said Tom Evans, climate diplomacy policy advisor at the E3G consultancy. “They must set higher climate targets for this decade to close the 1.5˚C emission gap. And we need much stronger implementation of climate policies to actually deliver those emissions cuts. The spotlight’s on the major emitting countries to take these two steps this year without delay.”
“It is heartbreaking for me, as a Ukrainian climate activist, to be living through a war which has fossil fuel money at its core,” said Olha Boiko of Kyiv-based Ecoaction. “The money that we begged not to invest in dirty energy is now flying over our heads in the form of bombs. The dependence of some countries on fossil fuels is being used for blackmail. We need to come out of this war better than we were.”
“The IPCC report highlights the cause of climate problems; fossil fuels did this,” said 350.org Executive Director Mae Boeve. “Since the Ukraine war started, fossil fuel companies and their executives have been profiting off the skyrocketing energy prices, while many people can barely afford heating or gas. It’s time for a rapid pivot to clean energy.”
“Fossil fuel executives are exploiting a war they helped fund to try to increase their own profits and pollution, and this report shows us exactly why governments must put a stop to it. To stay below 1.5°C, we can’t afford any new oil, gas, and coal infrastructure and need to phase out what’s already built at a rapid pace,” said Oil Change International Research Co-Director Kelly Trout. “Governments must stop listening to fossil fuel corporations and start heeding the science and the urgent pleas for action from communities facing droughts, fires, floods, and rising seas.”
“There is no silver bullet for solving climate change, but there is a smoking gun: fossil fuels,” said Nikki Reisch, climate and energy program director at the U.S. Center for International Environmental Law. “The IPCC’s latest report affirms why rapid and equitable phaseout of fossil fuels must be the centerpiece of any science-based mitigation strategy that aims to avert catastrophic levels of global warming. Relying on speculative technologies purported to deliver emissions reductions or removals in the future, after temperature rise surpasses 1.5°C, will cost lives and inflict further irreversible harm.”
“The WGIII report contains much of what is needed to stay on track for 1.5°C without dangerous temperature overshoot and without speculative technological carbon dioxide removal (CDR),” said Linda Schneider, senior program officer for international climate policy at the Heinrich Böll Foundation. “But the IPCC falls short of highlighting the right conclusions from its own findings: The central climate mitigation strategy—phasing out all fossil fuels, starting immediately—is often diluted in the SPM by references to CDR and [carbon capture and storage], which are meant to keep the fossil fuel industry alive.”
“This latest report drives home both the urgency and agency in addressing the climate crisis,” said Penn State University climate scientist Michael E. Mann. “While we are already experiencing dangerous climate change impacts, this report shows that we can still avert the worst consequences if we rapidly accelerate the transition from fossil fuels toward clean energy and climate-friendly practices. A Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty can be an anchor for driving forward that transition globally.”
“It’s game over for fossil fuels that are fuelling both wars and climate chaos. There’s no room for any new fossil fuel developments and the coal and gas plants we already have need to close early,” said Greenpeace Nordic Senior Policy Advisor Kaisa Kosonen. “There’s plenty of potential to do more right now, with huge benefits! Yet, money keeps flowing to problems instead of solutions, and it will only change with credible targets, policies and support aligned with the Paris Agreement warming limit.”
“In a historic first, the IPCC acknowledges the power of people going to court to assert their human rights in the face of the climate crisis,” said Louise Fournier, legal counsel for climate justice and liability at Greenpeace International. “Governments, corporations, and financial institutions, you’re officially on notice: align with the science and address fundamental injustices, or be forced to do so.”