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With the launch of a new IPCC Report into the urgency behind tackling climate change, Russell Jones looks behind the headline-grabbing use of the word ‘idiot’ and explores what is being done and what can be done.

So it really is scarily official.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has today delivered a final call on the world’s politicians and businesses to take urgent action to stop the planet from overheating.

The IPCC report is urging fast action now, to limit global warming before it's too late.

In the blunt words of Greenpeace, we need to ‘ACT NOW IDIOTS’ and this IPCC report backs up the urgent need with both numbers and facts.

Countries around the world must now act to completely cut out global carbon emissions by 2050, the UN-backed research says, or risk mass food shortages, more floods, droughts, storms.

5 important lessons from this latest report

  • Very alarming but surprisingly hopeful

    We really, really need to act fast, but if we do, we can reverse a lot of the damage quickly

  • Every little helps

    Whether you simply switch of lights in empty rooms, reduce the amount of meat you eat, or go fully electric, there is something all of us can do

  • No one silver bullet

    It's not about Plan A or Plan B. It's about Plan A + B + C

  • Technology already exists to help

    We don't need to wait for the future, there is technology already available which will help

  • It’s up to you, and me and him and her

    We can't wait for someone else to start. We all have to play our part now

Embrace renewables

In a report on the website, Matthew Spencer, the director of campaigns and policies at Oxfam, said that: "the IPCC is clear that things could get much worse without immediate action. The faster the governments that eliminate coal, embrace the revolution of renewable energy and move to protect communities at risk, the more lives and livelihoods will be saved."

That means going far beyond taking traditional carbon-based heating technologies such as oil, gas and LPG and doing much, much more than just making them ‘lower-carbon’.

We have to make the transition to an electric economy much, much faster than currently planned.

That also brings into question the recent approval for Cuadrilla to start drilling at a fracking test site in Lancashire within days, which may bring temporary respite to any rise in fuel prices, but still leaves us far, far short of the necessary reduction in emissions that we must make.

Paris agreement

We’ve reported on The Hub previously about US President Trumps rejection of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which still holds the best hope for getting action.

The positive thing we drew from the news reports when Trump declared he was ripping up the agreement was that US Industries, Businesses and even individual States were planning on ignoring their President and pressing on with climate change reduction activities anyway.

And that’s the point here. Whilst politicians and leaders will often make statements and manoeuvres for their own short-term reasons, the effects of climate change affect our planet over the longer term and regardless of the politics of all of this, all of us have to do whatever we can.

So what can you do?

My colleague Martin wrote recently during the World Green Building Week campaign of #HomeGreenHome about the individual changes we could all make to help reduce our own carbon footprint.

If more individuals, businesses and both local and national governments also do what they can then collectively it will make a difference.

My final take on this final warning is that the IPCC is saying that it’s not too late … but we all need to get our fingers out.

Russell Jones is communications manager for Mitsubishi Electric Living Environment Systems.