WASHINGTON (AP) — Preventing an extra single degree of heat could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people and ecosystems on this fast-warming planet, an international panel of scientists reported Sunday. But they provide little hope the world will rise to the challenge.
The Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its gloomy report at a meeting in Incheon, South Korea.
In the 728-page document, the U.N. organization detailed how Earth’s weather, health and ecosystems would be in better shape if the world’s leaders could somehow limit future human-caused warming to just 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit (a half degree Celsius) from now, instead of the globally agreed-upon goal of 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C). Among other things:
— Half as many people would suffer from lack of water.
— There would be fewer deaths and illnesses from heat, smog and infectious diseases.
— Seas would rise nearly 4 inches (0.1 meters) less.
— Half as many animals with back bones and plants would lose the majority of their habitats.
— There would be substantially fewer heat waves, downpours and droughts.
— The West Antarctic ice sheet might not kick into irreversible melting.
— And it just may be enough to save most of the world’s coral reefs from dying.
- A new U.N. report suggests a $240 per gallon gas tax equivalent is needed to fight global warming.
- The U.N. says a carbon tax would need to be as high as $27,000 per ton in the year 2100.
- If you think that’s unlikely to ever happen, you’re probably right.
A United Nations special climate report suggests a tax on carbon dioxide emissions would need to be as high as $27,000 per ton at the end of the century to effectively limit global warming.
For Americans, that’s the same as a $240 per gallon tax on gasoline in the year 2100, should such a recommendation be adopted. In 2030, the report says a carbon tax would need to be as high as $5,500 — that’s equivalent to a $49 per gallon gas tax.
If you think that’s an unlikely scenario, you’re probably not wrong. However, it’s what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report, released Sunday night, sees as a policy option for reducing emissions enough to keep projected warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The IPCC’s report is meant to galvanize political support for doubling down on the Paris climate accord ahead of a U.N. climate summit scheduled for December. The report calls for societal changes that are “unprecedented in terms of scale” in order to limit future global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the stretch goal of the Paris accord.