Following the publication of the report of Working Group II last February, the report of Working Group III of the Interngovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was published on Monday 04 April. This document evaluates the current state of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, what are the trends and possible future scenarios, and, in particular, what are the mitigation options to limit global warming.
The report drawn up by Working Group III aims to offer the general framework relating to the most recent scientific knowledge on the mitigation of emissions and to integrate the two previous reports. In addition, the report carefully evaluates various mitigation options taking into account the Paris Agreement goal of not exceeding the maximum limit of 1.5 ° C of the average global temperature. The term mitigation refers both to the cutting of emissions and to the removal and storage of CO2 already present in the atmosphere. With regard to the latter point, sectors such as agriculture and forestry have great potential for carbon storage both in the soil and in the forest cover. However, the report points out that such actions cannot compensate for delays in reducing emissions in other sectors.
This report, written by 278 authors from 65 countries, is based on the evaluation of more than 18,000 scientific publications.
The document communicates the urgency of the action, and the need to immediately implement packages of globally coordinated policies that actively involve the local population in the decision making process.
The coordinators of Working Group III presented the main results and messages of the report during the presentation press conference.
First of all, the various future scenarios were presented, with the related commitments to reduce emissions that must be respected if the temperature is to not rise above 1.5 ° and 2 ° C. In particular, to meet the first target, global emissions must reach their peak by 2025 at the latest and subsequently decrease by 43% by 2030. Once climate neutrality (which equates to net zero emissions) is reached, the temperature will begin to stabilize.
Secondly, the different options that can be implemented in each economic sector for cutting and storing emissions were presented and analyzed. This analysis shows the possibility of halving CO2 emissions by 2030 in all sectors: from energy to transport, from construction to agriculture, there are already possible and economically implementable solutions.
Finally, crucial points for success in the fight against climate change were addressed. Among these, of particular interest is the need to close the gap in financial investments, particularly in developing countries, where capital is currently less investable. Furthermore, it was emphasized that public funds are not sufficient to support the huge transformation that must be implemented: public policies, therefore, have the fundamental role of encouraging and adequately targeting private sector investments.
In general, the need for action now is strongly emphasized. Any delay in the implementation of policy packages necessary for a systemic change will make it impossible to achieve the 1.5 ° C target. Furthermore, it is clear that the feasibility of socio-economic changes is greater the sooner this process is started. Even at an economic level, the costs are decisively lower than in the case of inaction or delay in taking the necessary measures.
Working Group III Co-Chair Dr. Jim Skea summarizes the message of the published report with these words:
“We know what to do, we know how to do it, now it's up to us to take the necessary actions.”
The sixth round of the IPCC Evaluation Report will end in autumn 2022 with the publication of the final summary report.
To learn more:
and relative summary for policy makers and non expert public: Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change - Summary for policy markers
Press conference for the presentation of the Report (in english)
Focal Point IPCC for Italy – Focus on the Working Group III Report (in italian)
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