A much anticipated report by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows there is still a long way to go if we want to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and prevent dangerous warming. But the report also shows that there are ready-to-go solutions that can help us achieve the target, rapidly reduce the rate of warming, and prevent millions of premature deaths from air pollution each year.
Our best chance to avoid runaway warming is to act right away to reduce highly potent but short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) like methane, tropospheric ozone, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and black carbon. This must go hand-in-hand with deep and persistent cuts in long-lived greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2).
Fast and immediate action on SLCPs can avoid over half degree of warming by 2050. It will also avoid over 50% of the predicted warming in the Arctic by 2050, thereby significantly decreasing the chances of triggering dangerous climate tipping points, like the irreversible release of carbon dioxide and methane from thawing Arctic permafrost.
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