CLIMATE CHANGE

2°C rise ‘disastrous’ for poor

NEW DELHI: The 24th Conference of Parties (CoP) at Katowice, Poland, on climate change from December 2 to 14 will indicate whether or not the Paris Agreement (which entered into force in November 2016) will be relevant.

New Delhi, November 25

The 24th Conference of Parties (CoP) at Katowice, Poland, on climate change from December 2 to 14 will indicate whether or not the Paris Agreement (which entered into force in November 2016) will be relevant.

This was one of the key takeaways of a media briefing on climate change organised by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) here last week. The Paris Agreement prescribes an overarching temperature goal — to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.

The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C establishes that the world has already warmed by 1°C since pre-industrial levels. Some regions have warmed even more. India, for instance, has warmed by about 1.2°C between 1901 and 2017, according to CSE research,

“The impact at 2°C will be far higher than at 1.5°C and will be catastrophic for the poor and the vulnerable communities. This makes 2°C an anti-poor target,” said Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General, CSE.

Sunita Narain, Director General, CSE, also reiterated the impact of climate change on the poorest, “who are not responsible for stock of emissions in the atmosphere”.

According to this year’s World Bank report, the risk of exacerbation of extreme poverty in India is significant under a 1.5°C warming scenario and is worse under current trends, as it is expected to drive 42 million Indians into poverty by 2030.

“At 2°C, there will be two-fold increase in water scarcity. Also, food scarcity will increase by 10 times and agricultural productivity will reduce by 2.3 times,” Bhushan said. — TNS

Note of caution

  • To remain within the 1.5°C warming, the world will be have to reduce CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030 from 2010 levels, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050
  • If global emissions continue as per the commitments made under Paris Agreement, the carbon budget (the amount of CO2 that the world can emit) for 1.5°C warming will be exhausted by 2030

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