Professor Mark Howden from the Australian National University's Climate Change Institute is a Review Editor on the latest Special Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released today. He is also a Vice-Chair of the IPCC.
Professor Howden said the report showed at current rates of temperature increases, the world will likely reach 1.5 oC global warming by around 2040.
"At this point, there are very few practical pathways left that can keep warming to below 1.5 oC," Professor Howden said.
"But one of the key messages from this special report is the longer we leave taking action, the faster we'll have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the more it will cost including through unwanted impacts of climate change."
For the first time, the IPCC Special Report compares the risks presented by scenarios of 1.5 oC warming with 2oC warming, showing extreme weather events, heat-related morbidity and food shortages will be substantially worse at 1.5 oC than 2 oC.
"It is possible to limit warming to 1.5 oC, but it will be profoundly challenging and action taken in the next few years will be crucial."
"There are lots of synergies between reducing emissions, adapting to climate changes and with broader sustainable development"
Professor Howden has just returned from the 48th Session of the IPCC in South Korea, where the report was approved. He is the most senior Australian climate expert involved in the compilation of the report.
Professor Mark Howden
Director, ANU Climate Change Institute
T: +61 429026050