6 facts that show beating climate change is totally possible

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Wind turbines in the southern tablelands of NSW. Creative Commons photo by Sasha Fernandez from Flickr.

A new international report released yesterday and signed off by 195 governments from around the world, including Australia, has found a need to lift investment in renewable energy to combat climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report focuses on mitigation strategies for climate change and indicates that globally the world needs to at least triple the use of clean power sources, like solar and wind, by 2050.

Key players, like the United States and China, are quickly moving ahead. For example, the United States doubled renewable capacity between 2008 and 2012, and China increased its capacity in wind power by 36% in 2012.

It’s clear that the renewables race has begun.

Here are 6 facts that show beating climate change is totally possible

1. We have the solution – Actually we have a whole bunch of exciting solutions and opportunities, which are detailed in the latest report from the UN panel of experts called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). What's clear from this report (and previous reports) is that we need to reduce carbon emissions, particularly from fossil fuels, rapidly.

2. We have the technology – In 2013 the cost of buying solar panels for your home in Australia had dropped to a quarter of the price of a decade earlier. US Secretary of State John Kerry says “So many of the technologies that will help us fight climate change are far cheaper, more readily available and better performing than they were when the last IPCC assessment was released less than a decade ago.”

3. It’s not too late. Yet – According to the experts, the decisions we make in the next ten years will determine whether or not we beat climate change. There is still time to act, but if we don’t make the right choices everything from here on in will probably be more expensive and less effective.

4. The best brains in the business are on the job – The IPCC’s mitigation report was put together by 235 authors and 38 review editors from 57 countries, with 180 experts providing additional input. More than 800 experts reviewed drafts. Many of those involved are the top scientists in their area. That’s a pretty good brains trust.

5. The world is working together – Did you know that 195 countries signed off on this IPCC report? And 138 counties have renewable energy targets. Global cooperation of this magnitude is a tough, slow task, but important progress is being made. The world is moving.

6. Would you like clean air with that? – There are numerous extra benefits that come with tackling climate change. Air pollution causes a huge number of deaths and illnesses each year. And apart from helping to improve health, tackling climate change will create new jobs, minimise long-term economic costs and help sure up energy security. The case for action continues to get stronger and stronger.

See also: One simple info-graphic to understand more about climate solutions

Or for all the detail see: IPCC mitigation of climate change report

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