The IPCC finds that current policies would lead to global temperature rise of 3.2°C and that nearly 50% of global emissions are still not covered by laws on cutting emissions. As many countries face a cost of energy crisis, governments need to resist the temptation to address it by increasing our dependency on fossil fuels. Instead, they must take immediate steps to deploy clean technologies and boost energy efficiency to reduce demand. Existing high-carbon infrastructure either needs to be retired or fitted with carbon capture and storage technology – long promised but still largely un-deployed.
The good news in the IPCC’s report is that it confirms the costs of key clean technologies have fallen dramatically in the last 10 years (85% for solar and 55% for wind). The economic benefits of deploying them at scale, and taking other measures to limit warming, outweigh the costs.
Companies and consumers also have a major role to play. The IPCC finds that demand-side measures like changing diets, transport patterns and improving material efficiency could cut end-use emissions by 40-70%. Momentum is growing among companies, financial institutions and the public to address their role in this crisis – the IPCC report should turbo-charge these efforts.