On Monday, 4 April 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) finalised the third instalment of the Sixth Assessment Report. The report reflects the best available science on climate change mitigation and represents the culmination of five years of work by 278 scientists from 65 countries. Governments and experts from around the world submitted more than 50,000 comments on the text, which were reviewed by the authors of the report. IKEM issued the following statement regarding the assessment:
Dr Aleksandra Novikova, Lead Author in IPCC Working Group III and Head of Energy Efficiency and Climate Finance at IKEM:
‘Unless we take immediate and decisive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors, we will not limit global warming to 1.5°C. We are currently nowhere near on track to reach this goal. To meet the 1.5°C target, global greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025, fall to 43% below 2019 levels by 2030, and reach net zero by the early 2050s.
This means that the next few years are critical to setting the planet on the right course. The good news is that there are already technological and non-technological solutions that can reduce emissions by the required amount and more.
In recent years, many new technologies have gotten cheaper and gained a greater foothold in the market. Since 2010, for example, the costs of solar, wind and batteries have fallen by up to 85% worldwide, even as the installed generation capacity has risen. We can expect to see this in other areas as well.
To limit warming to 1.5°C, financial flows to climate change mitigation measures must increase by a factor of three to six by 2030. There is sufficient global capital and liquidity to close this investment gap.
Choices made by policymakers, the private sector, citizens, and others can deliver the emissions reductions we need. Reaching the target will require action across all sectors and in all countries. As of today, at least 18 countries have already sustained reductions in GHG emissions for at least 10 years.
I am very proud and honoured to have contributed to this assessment as a Lead Author. I urge you to read the report – and to take action!’
Prof Dr Michael Rodi, Founder and Director of IKEM and Head of the Research Academy:
‘The authors in Working Group III have made it clearer than ever that, even if we use all of the tools at our disposal, it will be very difficult to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented constraints on transport and industry – and we still haven’t managed to reduce our emissions. That confirms what the scientific community has had to repeat for years, after every climate conference and every reform: current efforts simply aren’t enough.
Of course, to verify this statement, we would need evidence that will only be available in the future. But scientific predictions about the progress of climate change have been confirmed year after year. In most cases, predictions have proved to be too conservative; the actual changes were faster and more intense.
Scientists will continue to compare targets to actual progress and make recommendations on this basis. What will change is the sense that inadequate policy decisions can be ‘corrected’ at some point in the future. That just won’t be enough anymore.’
Dr Simon-Schäfer-Stradowsky, Managing Director of IKEM:
‘The assessment report shows that the options for limiting climate change have been known for a long time – from a massive expansion of renewable energies to the introduction of an effective carbon price, a phase-out of coal or gas, or the decarbonisation of mobility. In Germany in particular, we’ve made only half-hearted attempts to implement these measures in recent years, even though we knew the impact that a delay would have on our climate.
In many areas, we’ve even seen deliberate attempts to obstruct the expansion of wind energy and photovoltaics. The carbon price that has been introduced is too low to be effective. The coal phase-out is coming too late, and the gas transition hasn’t even started yet – in fact, there were more natural gas-powered heating systems in Germany in 2021 than ever before. And the transport sector has made no progress towards greenhouse gas reductions; it’s the only sector where emissions have actually increased.
What we lack now is the time to implement these measures – the Sixth Assessment Report makes that very clear. We can’t afford any further delays: politicians must act now and finally initiate reforms that really put us on course to limit emissions to 1.5°C. Anyone who waters down reforms now is making a conscious decision to accept global warming of over 1.5°C.’