The defining challenge of our time
Our shared home, planet Earth, is under growing pressure from climate change caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Global temperatures have already risen 1.1°C since the pre-industrial periodCitation World Meteorological Organization (2019) The Global Climate in 2015-2019., and 18 of the 19 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000, with average temperatures over the past 4 years being the highest ever recordedCitation National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2019) 2018 Annual Global Climate Report.. Our climate and the conditions for life on Earth are changing, and it is scientifically proven that man-made global warming is responsible for many of these changesCitation IPCC (2018) Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5°C..
We are already experiencing the consequences of climate change: more wildfires, droughts, floods, extreme heat, accelerated sea level rise, crop failures, irreversible loss of biodiversity and signs of increased migration. According to the IPCC, the frequency and intensity of these events are only going to increase as temperatures riseCitation
IPCC (2018) Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5°C..
To avoid catastrophic consequences for nature, humans, the economy, and our societies, we all have to drastically accelerate action to mitigate climate change. Without further action, temperature increases are on track to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052, and exceed 3°C by 2100 – if not soonerCitation Climate Action Tracker (2019) Warming Projections Global Update..