‘Climate problem is getting worse but the solutions are getting better,’ says an author of UN Climate Report

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released their latest and optimistic findings on Monday.

Gregory Nemet from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment joined FOX Weather Monday to discuss the latest climate report.

"I would summarize it by saying simply, the climate problem is getting worse, but the solutions are getting better," Gregory Nemet, one of the Lead Authors of the Sixth Assessment Report told FOX Weather. "There is still certainly some dire language in the report. The trajectory is not great, but it did confirm solutions to this."  

The authors of the report, including Nemet who is also a Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, stated that the world could arrest warming around 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit if global greenhouse gas emissions peaked before 2025 then reduced by 43% by 2030. Findings point to global temperatures leveling out if carbon dioxide emissions hit net-zero by the 2050s. 

 "What the report really talks about is the urgency, the possibility and the opportunity. And the opportunity really does come from some of these changes that are enabled by technology, enabled by how we design cities and make them more efficient and deal with transportation and other sources of emissions," explained Nemet optimistically. "But we really do need to get serious about deploying them immediately and rapidly to avoid some of the worst effects of climate change."

The U.N. Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said that August’s report was a "code red for humanity. The alarm bells are deafening and the evidence irrefutable." After Monday’s report, he implored governments to further amend their energy policies.

"We see evidence of cost reductions in solar power and wind power in electric vehicles on the order of 85 to 90 percent," said Nemet of technological advances. "So we're going in the right direction in the U.S. but what we really need to do is accelerate the adoption. But this is something we can't afford until these technologies become affordable."

He explained that major investment, technologically and financially, is necessary in many sectors to reach the goal:

  • Power sector: Improve current power grids to accept solar and wind power which is intermittent.
  • Transportation and industrial sectors: Further switch to cleaner sources of energy like hydrogen and electricity.
  • Environmental sector: Remove carbon already in the atmosphere.

"Eighteen countries have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions over a 10-year period, and the US is one of them," said Nemet of the findings. "In fact, that may be the biggest source of emissions reductions."

"The IPCC report lays out a saner, safer approach, one that would get the world back on track by using renewable solutions that provide green jobs, energy security and greater price stability," wrote Guterres in a Washington Post oped. "First and foremost, we must triple the speed of the shift to renewable energy."