IPCC climate report: the science is clear - now it’s over to you, politicians

The UN’s report on climate change is as stark and unequivocal as it could possibly be. Climate change is here, and rapid action is needed now.

We can all sometimes become desensitised to crises in the news, whether they're natural disasters on the other side of the world, or whether it's just the relentless, daily nature of Covid.

But the climate crisis is different.

It's an existential threat to the planet, and it's here now, in the wildfires that are ravaging Greece and the flooding across much of Europe this summer.

This week, NationalWorld will also be showing how the UK's seaside communities are having to contend with rapid coastal erosion.

The world will reach or exceed temperature rises of 1.5C over the next two decades, the limit set by the Paris Climate agreement, with further rises extremely likely without rapid action to reduce emissions.

The report is also clear on who's to blame. Human-caused climate change is driving weather and climate extremes in every region of the world, it concludes.

As Greta Thunberg tweeted, the report contains "no real surprises". We know the gravity of the situation we're facing.

But what it does do is ramp up the pressure on politicians and business leaders.

It lays down the gauntlet to the ruling classes, ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in November.

Will they commit to the reductions in CO2 emissions needed to avoid catastrophe, or will they continue to deal in half-measures and soundbites, prioritising economic growth over the stability of our climate?

The world is watching. It's time for action.

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