Everyone is now aware of the issue of human-caused climate change, and virtually every government in the world has signed an international agreement to bring it to a stop. But with global warming already over 1.1°C, and concentrations of greenhouse gases still building up in the atmosphere, we are on track to miss the targets of the Paris Agreement and leave them far behind. Without rapid and deep cuts in emissions, global warming will pass 1.5°C and 2°C within decades and reach 3°C, 4°C or even 5°C global warming within a timescale the same as between now and the start of World War II.

However, all is not yet lost. There is still time to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change, if urgent, rapid action is taken. This includes both reducing greenhouse gas emissions to stop the rise in temperatures, and also putting in place adaptation measures to live with changes that are now unavoidable.

But despite widespread agreement on this, progress is still slow. The recent worldwide economic shutdowns illustrated that emissions reductions can occur, but in this case they came hand-in-hand with negative impacts on people as well as benefits. And these emissions cuts were not enough to substantially slow the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, illustrating that system-wide change is also needed. Meanwhile, the public debate gaining a greater sense of urgency, much of it well-founded but also some going beyond scientific evidence – both doomism and denial now feature heavily in the conversation.

This talk will summarise the current state-of-the-art in scientific evidence and understanding for this crucial global issue, and offer some perspectives on the complex public discussion around it.

  • Format: Webinar with Q&A
  • Video Tool: Zoom Webinar
  • Other Tools: n/a