White bears
9 October 2018

The IPCC report scientifically confirms the need for urgent action on climate change

Act now: this is what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report, released on 8 October 2018, is urging. The IPCC report scientifically confirms that we hold all the cards to tackle global warming. The situation is urgent, however, and all countries must act now. Given this climate emergency, François de Rugy, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, has in particular announced that a new low-carbon strategy will be presented at the end of October.
 

Implement energy transition as a matter of urgency

The report, which was requested from the IPCC during COP21 in December 2015, analyses the state of the planet within the context of the commitments made during the Paris Agreement: people, ecosystems and livelihoods are already being affected by climate change.

The report confirms that temperatures are rising due to greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity. With the world’s temperatures having already risen by 1°C, global warming could reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052. The direct consequences of this are ice melt and rising sea levels, which seriously threaten to submerge island nations. While the situation is now critical, it is not too late for the IPCC to launch a far-reaching process of energy transition.

Limit global warming to 1.5°C

The Paris Agreements aim to limit global warming to between 1.5°C and 2°C. It is possible to go further still. Indeed, according to Valérie Masson-Delmotte, co-chair of the IPCC working group on climate science, "every half degree increase matters and there are clear advantages to limiting warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C".

For the climatologist, not exceeding 1.5°C is not impossible, but this will require unprecedented changes in all areas of society, especially since limiting warming to 1.5°C can go hand-in-hand with achieving sustainable development objectives, for an improved quality of life for all.

The Government’s new low-carbon strategy

Given the climate emergency, François de Rugy, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, has in particular announced that a new low-carbon strategy will be presented at the end of October. This will include the gradual phasing-out of fossil fuels, reducing energy consumption and waste production and developing clean transport. The strategy is fully consistent with the commitments made by the President of the Republic.

In September 2017, the Big Investment Plan (GPI) pledged €20 billion to implement large-scale ecological transition. As evidence of how important this issue is to the Government, the budget allocated to it is the largest in the plan, ahead of skills and vocational training (€15 billion), competitiveness and innovation (€13 billion) and digital technology (€9 billion).

François de Rugy has also announced that, at the next European Council of Environment Ministers, he will work actively with his European counterparts to ensure the commitments made at COP21 are revised upwards, and that the rest of the world is brought on board to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.


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