We are not going to limit global warming to 1.5°C. This means we will soon be entering a much warmer and more dangerous world. The threshold of 1.5°C was the highest ambition of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement. It was arrived at by a realisation that warming beyond this temperature would produce intolerable suffering to those most exposed to global warming. So what can we make of politicians who continue to argue that ‘1.5°C is still alive’? Are they misinformed or are they simply lying?
On the heels of last month’s warning from the UN climate science panel that extreme weather and rising seas are hitting faster than expected, leaders have called for more money and political will to help people adapt to the new reality. At a dialogue in Rotterdam convened by the Global Center on Adaptation on Monday, more than 50 ministers and heads of climate organisations and development banks called for November’s COP26 climate talks to treat adaptation as “urgent”. In a communique, they said adaptation – which ranges from building higher flood defences to growing more drought-tolerant crops and relocating coastal communities – had not benefitted from the same attention, resources or level of action as efforts to cut planet-heating emissions.