Letter: Clearing the air on UN’s approach to climate change

Writer aims to educate regarding “fear-based propaganda” comment involving United Nations

Susan Ladner is concerned that City of Salmon Arm council should not base its climate change action on “UN fear-based propaganda,” which “may leave a legacy of a nightmare.” (Observer, Sept. 4)

Clearly, Ms. Ladner lacks awareness about the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and how it works.

The IPCC is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations, dedicated to providing the world with an objective, scientific view of climate change and its natural, political, and economic impacts and risks.

The IPCC does not conduct its own research. Instead, IPCC scientists volunteer their time to assess the thousands of scientific papers published each year in order to ensure an objective and complete assessment, and to reflect a diverse range of views and expertise.

Through its assessments, called ‘reports,’ the IPCC identifies the strength of scientific agreement in different areas and indicates where further research is needed.

In October 2018, the IPCC released a Special Report indicating that the maximum safe-climate level of global warming is 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels, and if we are to achieve that goal, global carbon emissions must start to decline well before 2030.

Read more: Salmon Arm politicians urged to declare climate emergency, create action plan

Read more: Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Read more: Losing climate change race a ‘disaster for Africa,’ UN says

This has led to the conclusion that the world must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

Currently, the world is barrelling toward a global temperature rise of 3ºC. Scientists warn that this will lead to famine, millions of deaths, mass movements of populations, and wars within states and between states as supplies of food and fresh water are depleted.

This is the real nightmare that we’re facing globally. It is an emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government — local, provincial, and national — in order to ensure a safe-climate world for our grandchildren and future generations.

Anne Morris

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