BERLIN, Germany — The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released a new report that demonstrates the rising levels of global emissions of greenhouse gases despite a growing number of policies to reduce climate change.
The report, entitled Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, presses for major institutional and technological change in order to limit the global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
“Climate policies in line with the two degrees Celsius goal need to aim for substantial emission reductions,” said Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair from Germany, in a statement. “There is a clear message from science: to avoid dangerous interference with the climate system, we need to move away from business as usual.”
The report is the third of four reports to be released by the panel. Together, the four reports will constitute the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report on climate change.
The report analyzed approximately 1,200 scenarios generated by 31 modeling teams to explore the economic, technological and institutional prerequisites and implications of the various scenarios.
“Many different pathways lead to a future within the boundaries set by the two degrees Celsius goal,” Edenhofer said. “All of these require substantial investments. Avoiding further delays in mitigation and making use of a broad variety of technologies can limit the associated costs.”
The scenarios range in ambition, the panel said. The most pertinent goal set forth by the group is to achieve near-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2100. In order to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations globally, emissions must reduce in energy production and use, transport, buildings, industry, land use and human settlements, according to the panel.
“Reducing energy use would give us more flexibility in the choice of low-carbon technologies now and in the future. It can also increase the cost-effectiveness of mitigation measures,” said Ramon Pichs-Madruga, IPCC co-chair from Cuba.
The panel emphasized that the road to greenhouse gas reduction is a global effort that affects every citizen of every nation.
“Climate change is a global commons problem,” Edenhofer said. “International cooperation is key for achieving mitigation goals. Putting in place the international institutions needed for cooperation is a challenge in itself.”