Simply Sustainable

How to use the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming

The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C has laid out in very stark terms what is required to keep global average temperature rise below 1.5C and avoid the worst impacts of runaway climate change. Realistically, it may be the last warning and chance we have to turn this around.

Although there are causes for optimism, the scale of change required is unprecedented and we must all – policymakers, businesses and individuals – redouble our efforts. The report calculates that a 1.5C warming trajectory would require the global economy to cut greenhouse gas emissions by around 45 per cent between 2010 and 2030, before then delivering a net zero emissions economy by 2050.

So how can companies use this report?

  • First and foremost, read it, understand it and get the headlines onto the Board’s agenda;
  • This is the latest science – embrace science-based targets for long-term emissions reductions, striving for net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier;
  • Talk the language of business and use the report as impetus to start disclosing and understanding climate change as a financial risk to the business;
  • If you haven’t got one, speak to people across the business to develop a detailed climate risk register;
  • Use the scenarios outlined here to analyse how different levels of climate change will impact the business in the future;
  • Develop your climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies that respond to the above.

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