Ex-EPA chief says burning coal is worst thing for climate change

Major UN report says climate change is worse than first thought

The future of the world is on the line, and our chance to fix it is now

One of the key goals of the accord was to limit the increase in global temperature to well below 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels, and to attempt a more aspirational goal of containing the rise to 1.5°C by the end of the century.

The Paris Agreement, adopted by 195 nations at COP21 in December 2015, included the aim of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change by "holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degree celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degree celsius above pre -industrial levels".

"And now more than ever we know that every bit of warming matters", Krug added.

Sea levels, for example, would be 10cm lower in a 1.5 degree scenario than a 2 degree scenario, and there would be substantially fewer heatwaves and droughts. New forms of public-private partnerships may be needed with multilateral, sovereign and sub-sovereign guarantees to de-risk climate-friendly investments, support new business models for small-scale enterprises and help households with limited access to capital. And that would have the side benefit of avoiding more than 100 million premature deaths through this century, the report said. In their conclusions, environment ministers recall the progress made in recent months by the European Union on legislation which delivers on its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A loaded coal train passes through the outskirts of Singleton, in the NSW Hunter Valley.

World leaders could reverse the damage (to the tune of trillions of dollars), but that would depend largely on whether lawmakers want to invest in the cause.

Well, lower carbon emissions for a start.

The June study published in the journal "Science" showed that beef production compared with peas results in six times more greenhouse gas emissions and the use of 36 times more land.

How Much Global Warming Has There Been Already? The group says a major slowing of warming is critical to avoid disaster. They need to be held to account in worldwide fora, by national electorates and in the wider court of public opinion.

Hurricane Michael upgraded to Category 3 storm
The center said Michael could reach land as a Category 3 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour . Michael battered parts of Mexico and Cuba with powerful winds and drenching rain on Sunday and into early Monday (local time).

The IPCC report also advises a shift to less energy-intensive household goods such as smart thermostats and air conditioners.

Professor Corinne Le Quere, from the University of East Anglia, said: "For the United Kingdom, this means a rapid switch to renewable energy and electric cars, insulating our homes, planting trees, where possible walking or cycling and eating well - more plants and less meat - and developing an industry to capture carbon and store it underground". That number includes the installation of 18,917 rooftop solar PV systems.

But meeting the more ambitious goal of slightly less warming would require immediate, draconian cuts in emissions of heat-trapping gases and dramatic changes in the energy field.

McCarthy said such moves, however, do not necessarily translate into action. Instead, it risks setting up feedbacks that could fall like unsafe dominos, fundamentally destabilizing the planet.

"Now one in four Australians participate in Earth Hour".

Quoted in Tuesday's Guardian article about the dangers of ignoring potential tipping points, Nobel prize laureate Mario Molina, who shared the award for chemistry in 1995 for his work on ozone depletion, said: "The IPCC report demonstrates that it is still possible to keep the climate relatively safe, provided we muster an unprecedented level of cooperation, extraordinary speed and heroic scale of action".

"When the people lead, the politicians will follow".

Today, I continue to believe that the Paris Agreement offers the best hope of delivering a robust and just transition to a zero-carbon, climate-resilient economy that protects lives and livelihoods, especially for the most vulnerable of the world's population.

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