Cutting emissions won’t be enough, says U.N. reportAugust 8, 2019 11:30am
The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said cutting greenhouse emissions will not be enough to hold off the worst impacts.
The massive report released Thursday comes a month before the United Nations Climate Change Action Summit next month in New York City.
It said to hold off the worst of climate degradation, countries around the world will also have to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
While emissions created by energy use and transportation have had the most attention in recent decades, the document pointed out some ways world leaders can achieve higher cuts to greenhouse gas. They include employing agricultural practices that build up soil quality, growing more plants that can be used to create biofuels and planting more trees.
However, it also recommended the general public in wealthier countries can also make an impact by eating less meat. By 2050, when the population is estimated to reach 10 billion, the panel said dietary changes could free up millions of square kilometres of land and cut 8 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas a year.
Currently, the report estimated 820 million people worldwide are malnourished, and 30 per cent of all food created is either lost or wasted.
The 1,200-page document said land use creates a quarter of emissions and decisive action is needed immediately.
Humans impact 70 per cent of ice-free land now, and a quarter of the land is already degraded. It said 500 million people live in areas that are increasingly suffering desertification, and those areas will be negatively impacted by climate change more and more.