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08.10.2018

Global risks to humans and the environment foreseen with warming of 1.5 degrees

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze and Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek view the report as further evidence of the urgency of combating climate change. Current climate action efforts are not enough.

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issues special report on global warming of 1.5°C

The new IPCC special report, presented today in Incheon, Korea, shows that global warming of as little as 1.5°C will have climate impacts leading to great risks worldwide. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze and Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek view the report as further evidence of the urgency of combating climate change. According to the report, global warming has already reached a level of about 1°C. Current climate action efforts are not enough to achieve the international climate targets. By adopting the Paris Agreement in 2015, the international community agreed to limit global warming to well below 2°C, if possible to below 1.5°C.

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze commented: "We cannot afford to waste any more time in combating climate change. That is the key message of the report. The next few years will be decisive for maintaining our planet’s balance. Our generation bears chief responsibility for ensuring this. We must phase out the use of coal, oil and gas. Every mitigated tonne of CO2 counts, as does every fraction of a degree by which we can limit global warming. This transformation entails a great many changes but also offers the opportunity to modernise our economy and increase quality of life in our societies."

Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek added: "The report shows that climate change presents great challenges for our societies. Not only in Germany, but around the world. In order to get the problem under control, we need strong input from research, and we must more fully tap into the potential of science. Good ideas in research and resolute action from decision-makers, industry and society can drive forward the necessary changes. These changes must not only mitigate climate change, they also have to be socially sustainable and boost innovation in industry."

New findings show that the risks for human health and the environment increase at a greater rate than previously assumed in case of global warming between 1.5°C and 2°C. Extreme weather events will become more frequent. In particular, stronger heat waves, more frequent heavy precipitation and, in some regions, extreme droughts will occur all around the globe. Sensitive ecosystems such as tropical coral reefs and the Arctic ecosystem are especially at risk.

Any path to achieving the 1.5°C target will require radical reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in order to reach CO2 neutrality by mid-century. If current emission rates were to be maintained, global warming would exceed 1.5°C by the 2040s.

08.10.2018 | Pressreport No. 193/18 | Climate
Joint press release with the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology