We are at a watershed moment in successfully tackling the greatest challenge of our time: climate change. Every day, in different parts of the , the planet sends us messages about the enormous transformations it is undergoing: from changing weather patterns that threaten food production; to rising levels that increase the risk of catastrophic floods. The effects of climate change affect us all. If drastic measures are not taken now, it will be much more difficult and expensive to adapt to its effects in the future.
Greenhouse gases (GHG) are produced naturally and are essential for the survival of humans and millions of other living beings since, by preventing part of the sun's heat from spreading into space, they make Earth habitable. After more than a century and a half of industrialization, deforestation and large-scale agriculture, the amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased to levels never seen before in three million years. As the population, economies and standard of living - with the associated increase in consumption - grow, so does the accumulated level of emissions of this type of gases.
There are three facts that scientists influence and that are extremely useful to better understand the root and scale of the problem:
the concentration of GHG in the Earth's atmosphere is directly related to the global average temperature of the Earth;
This concentration has been increasing progressively since the Industrial Revolution and, with it, the temperature of the planet;
The most abundant GHG, about two-thirds of all GHG types, is carbon dioxide (CO2) that results from the burning of fossil fuels.
In 2018 the IPCC published a special report on the impacts of global warming at 1.5 ° C. One of the main conclusions of this report highlights that limiting global warming to this level will require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. This report stresses that limiting global warming to 1.5ºC, compared to 2ºC, must go hand in hand with the commitment to build a more sustainable and equitable society. While previous estimates focused on determining the damage that would be caused if the average temperature reached 2 ° C, this report indicates that much of the impact of climate change would already occur with a 1.5 ° C increase.
In addition, the report highlights a number of damages caused by climate change that could be avoided if the global warming limit were set at 1.5ºC instead of 2ºC, or more. For example, by 2100 global level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5 ° C. The chances of having an ice-free Arctic during the summer will decrease to once per century, instead of once per decade, with the maximum at 1.5ºC if the limit is set at 2ºC. Coral reefs would decrease between 70 and 90% with a global warming of 1.5 ° C, while with 2ºC practically all would be lost (99%).
This report also indicates that limiting global warming to 1.5 ° C would require "deep and rapid" transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transportation and cities. Global net human-caused CO2 emissions would need to be reduced by 45% by 2030 from 2010 levels, and further decline until reaching "net zero" in around 2050.
At the 21st Conference in Paris in 2015, the Parties to the UNFCCC reached a landmark agreement with the aim of combating climate change and accelerating and intensifying the actions and investments necessary for a sustainable low-carbon future. The Paris Agreement brings together all the nations of the world, for the first time in , under a common cause: to carry out ambitious efforts with the aim of combating climate change and adapting to its effects. To achieve this, the UNFCCC stresses that developing countries will have to receive greater support to boost their fight against climate change. In this way, it defines a new path in global efforts to curb climate change.
We must take care of the environment so that our future people do not suffer because of us and so that they live in a healthy world