IPCC on Climate Change: Act now or it’s too late

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The Synthesis report of Sixth Assessment of the International Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was published yesterday.

This is a open thread for you to give your views on this report, which you can read in full here.

The report is perhaps well summarised by this Guardian summary entitled “Scientists deliver ‘final warning’ on climate crisis: act now or it’s too late” with the strapline “IPCC report says only swift and drastic action can avert irrevocable damage to world”:

Scientists have delivered a “final warning” on the climate crisis, as rising greenhouse gas emissions push the world to the brink of irrevocable damage that only swift and drastic action can avert.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), made up of the world’s leading climate scientists, set out the final part of its mammoth sixth assessment report on Monday.

The comprehensive review of human knowledge of the climate crisis took hundreds of scientists eight years to compile and runs to thousands of pages, but boiled down to one message: act now, or it will be too late.

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, said: “This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe. Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once.”

* News Meerkat - keeping a look-out for Liberal Democrat news. Meerkat photo by Paul Walter

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  • Jenny Barnes 21st Mar '23 - 5:31pm

    ““The 10% of households with the highest per capita emissions contribute 34-45% of global consumption-based emissions, while the bottom 50% contribute 13-15%.”

    This. If we want people to agree to cut their fossil fuel consumption, the big emitters need to stop. Scrap their private jets, FordRanger Raptors, Megayachts etc. It’s absurd to expect the “little people” to do the heavy lifting when the elite don’t give a @@@@, give up meat while the elite eat fillet steak etc.

  • David Garlick 22nd Mar '23 - 12:39pm

    We should be shouting from the rooftops on this. I really don’t care if the public don’t care. We need to provide the leadership that neither the Labour Party not the aweful Tory Party are prepared to do.
    WE must be all over this like a rash. No member of the public will forgive us when the unmentionable inevitably hits the fan. This country is ill prepaed for what is to come in the security of food production, imported or farmed, Sea level rise, weather related changes or engergy security.
    I expect that the GLD’s will ensure that Climate Change centre stage in any manifesto.
    Be brave and set the country on a survival path. Be timid and rearrange the deck chairs just like the rest. With Leadership. All of us, everything, everywhere, all at once.
    Our MP’s need to know that this is necessary. Please tell them. All of them.

  • Paul Barker 22nd Mar '23 - 5:02pm

    Yes, Our MPs should be shouting about this & Our Councillors – especially thrones in “Flagship Libdems Councils”.
    If they can’t do that then they should at least not side with Motorists against The Mayor of Londons attempts to extend The “ULEZ” scheme intended to reduce Car use & Pollution. Some of “Our” Councils in London are on the wrong side on this.

  • David Garlick 22nd Mar '23 - 9:18pm

    Can’t believe that there are not 30+ comments here. Does notbode well.

  • Peter Davies 22nd Mar '23 - 9:51pm

    It’s one of the few areas where we can be genuinely proud of our record in coalition. We should extrapolate to where we would be now if Cameron had not got a majority and “Cut all the green crap”

  • Martin Gray 23rd Mar '23 - 4:14am

    @David …Climate change just doesn’t resonate with a lot of people . Hardly gets a mention when canvassed – along with Ukraine & Brexit Peoples day to day concerns tend to remain the same – this is amplified at election times ..

  • We definitely need to make a lot more noise about this, and while I’m not immune to the argument about apparent voter priorities, but this is the biggest threat facing all of us and future generations, so it’s our duty to make it resonate. Too many are in denial about the unfolding situation and how much we need to do to make it a bit less awful. It’s beginning to happen with sewage and water quality, so why don’t we put more effort into this?

    I agree Jenny that focus should be on the wealthier, bigger emitters, and I’ve no qualms about restricting private jets etc. But those using private jets are the top 0.001% of wealth and most of us in the UK overconsume. We can’t pass the buck on this.

  • @ Paul, I agree with you on the shameful way some of our politicians have behave in regard to the LEZ. And as frustrated as I am by the pandering to the motorist lobby, I was angry by the pathetic attempt to paint it as protecting poor people.

    The poorest in society don’t drive, and you don’t need an electric car to enter a LEZ. In particular, you don’t need a top of the range electric car to drive in a LEZ.

    Being an environmentalist doesn’t require going back to the stone age, but it does require honesty, especially with ourselves, and too many of us are prepared to go along with convenient lies.

    I appreciate the pressing need to get the Tories out, and bring people along with us, but thousands of people in the UK die early every year as a result of air pollution, so if we are more worried about annoying a minority of car owners then what’s the point?

  • Jenny Barnes 23rd Mar '23 - 11:21am

    “most of us in the UK overconsume. We can’t pass the buck on this.”
    My point is not that it would solve climate change if the relatively few megaconsumers in the elite give things up, but that if everyone is to change their behaviour, which is bound to be at least initially uncomfortable, then those megaconsumers have to change their ways first. There is a (possibly mythical) idea that in the British armed services when there is something difficult and uncomfortable to be done, the officers muck in with the men. That kind of “all in it together” approach might work. Otherwise, we’re almost certainly doomed.

  • Nonconformistradical 23rd Mar '23 - 11:29am

    “if everyone is to change their behaviour, which is bound to be at least initially uncomfortable, then those megaconsumers have to change their ways first. ”

    Not impressed with the prime minister’s heated swimming pool (especially when public pools are being closed) or his jaunting around the country by helicopter. He needs to set a better example.

  • @Jenny – it has always amazed me that when the Chelsea tractors became fashionable in the mid 90’s, they weren’t slapped with a much higher annual duty than they were – given their rubbish fuel consumption , poor safety ratings (hit a child/animal at 20 mph in a car, the child is likely to be throw on to the bonnet and survive, Chelsea tractor, they get knocked down and go under…) and additional wholly unnecessary weight.

    I suppose one of the benefits of industry now paying effectively the same rate as consumers for electric and gas is that these megaconsumers are now motives to do something…

  • We all need to change our behaviour and do it now. We should have done it ten (20) years ago, but we didn’t, so we have to change now.

    We may be able to comfort ourselves because we’re doing less harm to the planet than the super-rich, but to the people whose homes no longer exist because the sea level has already risen, or whose families who lost loved one and their livelihoods in the Pakistani floods, or who are now refugees because their homeland is engulfed in war made worse by drought and famine, we are the wealthy elite who don’t just let it happen, but are making it happen.

  • Jenny Barnes 23rd Mar '23 - 1:30pm

    “we have to change now” Indeed. But while we have examples like Liz Truss jaunting to Australia in a chartered aeroplane and Rish! rich helicoptering around his private heated swimming pool “we” aren’t going to. Because it looks like, once again, the “experts” telling the little people to give stuff up that they won’t.

    I think it was 15 years ago when I was at an LD annual conference in Brighton, climate change being discussed, and everyone in the main hall was asked to put their hand up to commit to a 10% drop in their CO2 emissions that year. Most did, I didn’t. Because I had already made all the changes I reasonably could, and knew how hard it was to keep making more. I wonder how many of those whomade that commitment that day succeeded.
    No flying holiday, no car, meat very rarely, insulate your house within an inch of it’s life and keep it cool, hardly any new stuff, …..etc.

    And the planet will be just fine. Humanity, probably not.

  • David Garlick 23rd Mar '23 - 3:57pm

    @Martin I agree entirely. Well almost. Those under 30 yoa will suffer and suffer badly from Climate Change. I want our Party to be like King (then Prince’ Charles where people say ‘he told us so’ and not ‘They knew back then, why didn’t they do something about it?’

  • Boris Johnson is racist and sexist and a habitual liar. If our ambitions are limited by the actions of recent Prime Ministers are we suggesting that LibDems are OK with our elected representatives also being the same, so long as it’s not quite as bad?

    How about we object to the massive damage done by the super-rich and senior politicians as well as aspiring to be as good as we reasonably can be? Even the most committed environmentalist is on a journey, limited in part by the society around us. It’s right we accept that, but as a political party we have a choice between doing all that we can to make those societal changes or making excuses for delaying what’s required.

    Humanity may not survive, but I don’t think it’s fair that people in rich countries make that decision on behalf of all of us, never mind entire ecosystems.

  • Peter Davies 24th Mar '23 - 6:55am

    Changes to what ordinary people consume can have a significant effect but it won’t come from every consumer doing an energy audit on every tomato they buy. They will buy what Tesco and Persimmon sell them.

    Companies like Tesco follow the money. The current high price of energy in Europe is forcing them to adjust their range. The average customer’s basket will have a lower carbon footprint than before Putin invaded Ukraine. We should adjust taxes to make that permanent when the crisis is over.

    Housing is even more completely controlled by the suppliers. Most tenants have little or no control over their home’s energy efficiency. We should ban any new tenancy contract (including rent increases) on homes that do not meet the highest energy efficiency standards. We should also have building regulations that prevent any new energy-inefficient homes being built.

  • Peter Hirst 1st Apr '23 - 4:08pm

    We should all be thinking what we can do to combat climate change. To some it is going on a march, to others stopping flying, to others deciding not to have any more children. I thought I’d done all I was prepared to. Then we got some unknown business people persuading us to invest in further insulation. The result is limiting the central heating and not using our gas fires in the morning. Insulation works along with plenty of layers of clothing.

  • Nonconformistradical 1st Apr '23 - 4:25pm

    @Peter Davies
    “We should ban any new tenancy contract (including rent increases) on homes that do not meet the highest energy efficiency standards. ”
    Are you saying that if one tenant moves out another cannot take up that vacancy if the property does not meet the highest energy efficiency standards? Suppose the landlord cannot afford to do the changes – might that risk the property ending up as someone’s second home (depending on its location)? and an even bigger housing crisis than we already have?

    “We should also have building regulations that prevent any new energy-inefficient homes being built.”
    Agree – but the problem is more about enforcing such regulations.

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