Why climate change is an inequality issue

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the results of its Sixth Assessment Report on Climate Change. The report, which was authored by hundreds of climate scientists and takes into account the results of thousands of peer reviewed articles on the physical basis of climate change, could hardly be more stark in its warning for humanity.

In short, human activity is ‘unequivocally’ driving unprecedented changes in the planet’s climate (no small statement from the usually conservative IPCC). Anything but the most severe of emissions cuts will see the planet heat beyond 1.5C above pre industrial levels, possibly as soon as the 2030s, with the world likely to soar past 2C of warming by the end of the century. As a result, many weather events that had up to now been considered rare or unprecedented; wildfires, marine heatwaves, droughts and extended monsoon seasons, will become ever more common and ferocious in their intensity. Even under the IPCC’s most optimistic scenario, summertime sea ice atop the Arctic Ocean will vanish entirely at least once by 2050.

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