A new report from the scientific panel of the United Nations on climate change warns that a massive change is needed so that our economies can be more green. Without a big push in more green energies the world will suffer on a massive scale from climate change. Furthermore a higher price on carbon is needed.
If nothing is done by 2040 one could see massive die-offs of corral reefs, worsening food shortages as well as wildfires. If emissions continue at the current rate the atmosphere will warm up by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit or 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial rates by 2040.
The big shock of this report is that severe damage to the world will occur well below the worst scenarios that had been imagined. A half degree of extra warming would see enormous damages done.
Just avoiding the most severe damages could mean that the world economy would have to change in order to avoid damages of up to 54 trillion dollars. To avoid severe damages the price on carbon dioxide emissions might have to go to 27,000 dollars per ton by 2100. Carbon pricing mechanisms are now enacted in some countries but not at a rate that is enough.
In the absence of aggressive action many effects once thought to occur at a higher temperature will now happen much lower, arriving by 2040. One thing is clear in the report, coal has got to go. One cannot exploit coal and try to reduce carbon emissions.
What is more worrisome is that the Paris agreement will not be enough to reverse climate change, even if everyone was on board. But with the United States out and other countries thinking of leaving, like Brazil, the future looks dim.