Findings from the IPCC Climate Change Report 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change

Findings from the IPCC Climate Change Report 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change

The IPCC Report is an updated global assessment in relation to the sources of global emissions focused on Mitigation efforts and Adaptation solutions for the long-term emissions goals. The comprehensive final report has more than 2,900 pages, and it was written by 278 authors from 65 countries.

Among the revelations that it provides, it states that the demand-side strategies to encourage sustainable actions such as: cycling or walking over using a car or promoting plant-based diets over meat-based ones, could reduce global carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions measures by 40–70 per cent by 2050.

 

Consumer behavior changes can lower demand

One key component of reducing emissions is limiting demand, which the IPCC has divided into three types of change. “Socio-cultural factors” are behavioral choices individuals make. “Infrastructure use” refers to changes in the design of infrastructure that make it possible for individuals to make different choices. And “end-use technology adoption” refers to changes in the uptake of technologies by end users.

Socio-cultural factors

A change of attitude is necessary to reverse direction. According to the scientists, ​​Dietary choices are especially key, believing that they have greater potential for emission reductions than transport, building and industry.“Dietary changes are difficult because they require cultural changes”.

“Having the right policies, infrastructure and technology in place to enable changes to our lifestyles and behavior can result in a 40-70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This offers significant untapped potential,” said IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Priyadarshi Shukla, in a written statement. “The evidence also shows that these lifestyle changes can improve our health and wellbeing.”

Infrastructure usage

Cities and other urban areas also offer significant opportunities for emissions reductions.  These can be achieved through lower energy consumption (such as by creating compact, walkable cities), electrification of transport in combination with low-emission energy sources, and enhanced carbon uptake and storage using nature. There are options for established, rapidly growing and new cities.

The price of renewable energy and batteries for passenger electric vehicles has fallen significantly, and their adoption continues to rise. However, globally current climate policy responses are not sufficient to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to limit global warming to around 1.5° Celsius.

Greenhouse gas emissions have overwhelmingly come from more developed countries and wealthier individuals. Globally, the 10% of households with the highest per capita emissions contribute 34-45% of global consumption-based household GHG emissions, while the middle 40% contribute 40-53%, and the bottom 50% contribute 13-15%.

End-use technology adoption

Digital technologies can contribute to mitigation of climate change and the achievement of several SDGs. For example, sensors, Internet of Things, robotics, and artificial intelligence can improve energy management in all sectors, increase energy efficiency, and promote the adoption of many low-emission technologies, including decentralised renewable energy, while creating economic opportunities. However, digitalisation can involve trade-offs across several SDGs, e.g., increasing electronic waste, negative impacts on labour markets, and exacerbating the existing digital divide, topics that should be governed and considered for a proper decarbonisation plan. 

 

One key to success is acknowledging climate, biodiversity, and human society as a coupled system, meaning that all components are interlinked.

Credit: Li-An Lim

Tackling the challenges involves everyone

Climate Resilient Development will only be possible with fundamental changes in five major areas: 1) in our world’s energy systems; 2) in the way we use, manage and safeguard the land and freshwater, the oceans and their respective ecosystems; 3) in the way cities and infrastructure are planned, built, organized and governed; 4) in the way our economies and industries function and 5) in the way our societies function on a local, national and international level.

 

If you want to know more about the findings of IPCC reports, please go to: IPCCReport

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