“Only immediate, ambitious and coordinated measures can allow us to avoid serious harm.” from the climate crisis. The The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) detailed, on Monday 4 April in Part Three of its Sixth Report, the solutions that will be implemented to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the drivers of global warming. its cost “Less compared to the cost of inaction”insists on franceinfo Celine Guevach, director of research at the International Center for Environmental Research and Development (Cired .).) and co-author of this new report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
France Info: What are the main messages of this report?
This third component focuses on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. It surveys all major sectors: cities, energy, agriculture… What it shows is that there are mitigation options available today in all sectors, capable of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions significantly and at an affordable cost. These options are manifold: some depend on available technologies, others on shifts in our production methods, our infrastructures or our social organizations. The report is very clear: it is a set of levers that, mobilized together, are capable of significantly reducing emissions. The exact composition is up to politicians, public debate, and regions to adopt.
“One strong finding of this report is that the cost of doing business is less important than the cost of inaction. Reducing our emissions is a beneficial long-term investment.”Celine Guevarch, co-author of Group 3 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
And what does it add compared to the last post dating back to 2014?
The global context has changed. Since the last report, research has been able to focus on measures that have already been implemented. But unfortunately, emissions have continued to rise. So, as with climate change, what matters is the buildup of emissions, we’re in a hurry. Today we find ourselves saying that only immediate, ambitious and globally coordinated measures can enable us to avoid serious harm.
This report offers a set of solutions, but it is not a list of recommendations. Can you explain the IPCC’s approach?
We assess the state of knowledge. In this report, we evaluated more than 18,000 articles to consider, very collectively, each mitigation option, its potential, its cost, and its impact on inequality, development or biodiversity. We also evaluate the literature on the pathways that brought all these options together, policy tools, established or to be put in place, what worked or not…
The Sixth Report process began in 2017 with the adoption of the table of contents. Based on these chapters, there is a call for authors. It is therefore the team of authors that takes the mandate of what is covered in the report and evaluates the literature on these elements.
At the end of the process, there is an exchange between authors, scientists and representatives of each IPCC member country. Sometimes they try to tone down the language used. How did it go this time?
It is an intensive process of discussion with more than 100 delegates remotely. The important thing is that the authors are the ones holding the pen. They ensure that the summary reflects the underlying report in a balanced way, and that everything in the summary corresponds to a state of knowledge. notWe always have the last word. The role of country delegations is to make this summary as clear as possible, and as audible as possible. Some delegations come with strong economic and geopolitical interests. It’s always Part 3, because we’re talking about solutions, the longer discussions.
Can you give some examples of the solutions evaluated in this report?
Take transportation. There are options that seek to take advantage of the demand for transport services, to avoid certain movements of goods or people: optimizing the production chain, rethinking urban planning to have shorter distances, telecommuting or remote meetings.. Other options aim to promote a paradigm shift towards means of transportation. Low-emissions transportation: public transportation, cycling, walking. Behind this, there are shifts in our infrastructure, our organizations, and our social norms. Finally, you have more straightforward technological options: cars that are more energy efficient, lighter, and electrified, provided the electricity is produced in a clean way.
For buildings, there is a shift in existing construction, to insulate them, and materials used in new construction or heating. When it comes to farming, choosing less meat-based diets is part of the group of choices. This, of course, depends on the country, it is sometimes a question of food security, but there are areas in the world where there is a possibility of a reduction.
This report also addresses the thorny issue of sequestering the carbon already emitted. what does he say?
The report shows very clearly that if we want to stabilize the increase in global temperature, we must achieve net zero emissions on a global scale. This means positive emissions reduction, promptly and quickly, to obtain the lowest possible residual emissions. But it also means that we need negative emissions to compensate for these residual emissions, in agriculture and aviation for example.
However, this does not mean that we can continue to emit greenhouse gases. The lower the residual emissions, the fewer negative emissions needed to offset them.
“We cannot tell ourselves: ‘No matter what we emit today, in 30 years’ time we will have magical solutions. “Céline Guevarch, co-author of the report
There are already options in use today: reforestation, changes in land use practices, agroforestry… There are other types of solutions, which are in research and prototype stages today, for capture and geological storage. They do not have any zero potential, but they also, if widely deployed, have negative impacts: competition with land and water use, food security, biodiversity threat or population rights. Direct capture is also an expensive solution that requires a lot of energy.
This report, which includes a “summary for decision makers”, was published a few days before the first round of the presidential elections in France. Do you have something to say to the candidates?
Read this report and hear the very clear call for immediate and ambitious action across all sectors.