'Nobody is safe': UN issues warning on climate change as Cork Greens call for sustainable transport options

'Nobody is safe': UN issues warning on climate change as Cork Greens call for sustainable transport options

Green Party Councillor Oliver Moran cited reducing dependency on private cars as a top priority and retrofitting homes so they are more environmentally friendly. Pic: Larry Cummins

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned of the effects on the environment cultivated from human habits in a hard-hitting report.

The report is the first comprehensive look at the scientific knowledge available regarding the threat to the environment from humans since 2013.

The IPCC outlined that it is "unequivocal" that human activity is warming the planet, with the impacts of climate change already being felt around the world.

Cork’s Green Party Councillor Oliver Moran said the report means passing the 1.5C tipping point is now a virtual inevitable.

“Climate change has happened. Limiting the change globally, and its effects locally is now the name of the game and one we have to play fast.” 

The Green Party Councillor cited reducing dependency on private cars as a top priority and retrofitting homes so they are more environmentally friendly.

MORE SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT OPTIONS

“The provision of affordable and available alternatives must be a priority of this Government and Cork City Council. We cannot ask people to change their ways if we do not provide them with emission-reducing alternatives. We need more cycling routes, more public transport, more thinking about how people move around our city in their daily lives.

“A consequence of today's report has to be an honest recognition of what's ahead. It means spelling out to people the changes that are required and the effect they will have on everyday people and local communities. That honesty has to be a part of making a just transition, where no-one is left behind.” 

Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, warned "it is time to get serious" and that "no-one is safe" during the climate crisis.

Speaking at a press conference following the release of a UN report on climate change, she said: "You have been telling us for over three decades of the dangers of allowing the planet to warm.

"The world listened but did not hear. The world listened, but it did not act strongly enough and, as a result, climate change is a problem that is here now.

"Nobody is safe and it's getting worse faster.

"We must treat climate change as an immediate threat, just as we must treat the connected crisis of nature and biodiversity loss and pollution and waste as immediate threats.

"It's time to get serious because every tonne of CO2 emission adds to global warming."

Valerie Masson Delmotte, co-chair of Working Group I, which produced the IPCC climate change report, said emissions reductions caused by the coronavirus pandemic were "temporary" and were not sufficient to have a "significant impact".

"Our report shows that due to the lockdown implemented in the pandemic context there have been temporary reductions of CO2 - a few per cent at the global scale - but these are temporary reductions," she told an IPCC press conference.

"It is not sufficient to have a significant impact, therefore the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration has continued.

"Moreover, there have been reductions in air pollutants as well, temporary reductions, leading to immediate improvements in air quality."

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