Since 2015 countries around the world signed the Paris Agreement (an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - UNFCCC) with the aim of cutting carbon emissions to keep global warming below 2 °C, while pursuing efforts to keep it below 1.5 °C.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a special report advising that global temperatures could increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels as soon as 2030 and would have a catastrophic impact on life on earth.
The IPCC report found that for global warming to be limited to 1.5 °C, "Global net human-caused emissions of CO2 would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero around 2050." In a year that saw the end of the warmest decade ever recorded, global climate protests gained momentum in 2019 calling for governments and decision makers to take more action. The UK government also became the first major global economy to set a net zero carbon target for 2050. In November 2021, the UK will be hosting and chairing the United Nations annual Climate Change Conference, COP26. COP stands for Conference of Parties and is the decision-making body of the UNFCCC. Representatives from across the world are expected to attend to both address what has and hasn’t been achieved since 2015 and to agree new tougher, plans to reach the Paris Agreement targets. The scale of the challenge is immense and urgent action is needed in the short term if we stand a chance of avoiding a 1.5 °C rise.
The recent IPCC report of 2021 declared at ‘code red for humanity’