French minister calls for more ‘brutal changes’ to address climate change

Since the last report published in 2013, extreme weather events – heat waves, intense rainfall, fires and droughts – have intensified. [EPA-EFE/Thibault Camus]

To get on the right track of the aspirations of the Paris Climate Agreement “the efforts will be harder, the changes more brutal,” French ecological transition minister Barbara Pompili said on Wednesday evening.

Pompili spoke as she met Valérie Masson-Delmotte, co-chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to discuss the lessons to be learned from a key report published this summer.

On 9 August, the IPCC published the first part of its sixth report on global climate change. Its findings are clear: “Climate change is becoming more widespread, faster and more intense,” the scientists warned in a press release.

Since the last report published in 2013, extreme weather events – heat waves, intense rainfall, fires and droughts – have intensified.

Unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced rapidly and radically, “limiting warming to a level close to 1.5 degrees, one of the aspirations of the Paris Climate Agreement, will be out of reach”, said the expert from the UN-mandated body.

On top of CO2 emissions, the climate experts pointed to methane emissions as being the second most factor accelerating global warming. These “have increased very rapidly over the last decade, driven upwards by the fossil fuel sector and by certain sectors linked to agricultural activities”, explained Masson-Delmotte, before adding that climate policies must be much more ambitious.

In early 2022, the IPCC’s Group 2 will publish a report on adaptation options.

(Clara Bauer-Babef | EURACTIV.fr)

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