With 91 authors from 40
countries and over 6000 scientific references, the Special Report on Global
Warming of 1.5 oC (SR15) by the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC) shared with the world the most updated, authoritative
scientific advice to governments in October 2018. It expressed a bottom-line
warning to deeply reduce global net human-caused CO2 emissions by about 45 % from 2010 levels
by 2030 and to reach net zero by 2045.
has 11 years to limit global warming to 1.5 oC, and the IPCC report says it
is possible to avert the irreversible impact on human and natural ecosystems,
on people’s health and wellbeing. Scientists and economists have called the
report the most important in IPCC’s history; it expects people to be shaken
from complacency and to be mobilized to act.
The Asia Pacific region with
its many small island states in the Pacific, millions of coastal and upland
communities in its deltas, valleys, and mountains, and the natural hazards in
its landscape is particularly vulnerable to extreme climate events brought
about by a warming climate and presently experienced in highly susceptible areas.
and landslides, sea-level rise, the creeping impact of a prolonged drought by
an El Niño event translate into disasters when people are caught unprepared
because they do not have the basis to prepare. The most vulnerable are hardest
hit as there are few options, and often none, that can secure them from the
shock of losing food sources, houses, livelihoods – if they survive.
years remaining need to have cumulative action plans at the community level
while accompanied by broader assistance from government and civil society. The
most effective time to act is when there is no extreme event, when there is no
disaster taking place and the vulnerability and violation of human dignity is
evident and experienced daily.
The 11 years remaining call
for a change of lifestyle and of attitude to how life needs to be lived that
involves a radical shift from consumerism to personal lifestyle choices that
are simple, sustainable, and caring for what nature has provided. These are
critical in the witness to a life-mission.
The 11 years remaining must transform the linear economic model of
“make, use, and dispose” to one that is circular and regenerative, minimizing
waste and maximizing resources to their fullest value and recovering and
reusing these resources.