The United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait succeeded in preventing the inclusion of a key and the most recent scientific assessment of the possible impact of global warming in the final agreement at the UN climate change talks in Poland.
Despite recognising that the October assessment by UN climate science panel Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) encapsulates the “best available science” in the final decision, countries opted to focus on the IPCC’s ability to be punctual while putting together a work programme to make the 2015 Paris climate pact operational.
In its “special report” on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, IPCC has called for rapid and profound reduction of emissions of heat trapping or greenhouse gases to limit the adverse impacts of unchecked temperature rise.
“It was beyond disappointing that all countries were not able to welcome the IPCC report on 1.5°C in Katowice,” said Ethiopian negotiator Gebru Jember Endalew, chair of the Least Developed Countries Group that includes 47 economies. “We cannot ignore its findings, and we absolutely must not ignore its recommendations. We must — and, importantly, we can — limit warming to 1.5°C, and that means making transformative changes across all aspects of society,” he said.