IPCC Report: what business needs to know

This week, scientists released one of the most urgent and compelling calls for action on climate change to date.

The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns us in no uncertain terms that action is needed now to tackle rising temperatures.

What are some of the takeaways for business leaders? Here’s our summary of some of the key points:

  • Global temperatures are predicted to hit 1.5C by 2030, and 3-4C by the end of the century. The report highlights the dire consequences of allowing temperatures to rise by 2C– on health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth.
  • The report urges business to act. “Rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities are required, to keep global warming to 1.5C, according to the report. CO2 emissons would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050.
  • Renewable energy is the future. As the main producer of greenhouse gases, the fossil fuel sector will need to see the biggest changes. In most pathways to a 1.5C future, renewable energy sources are expected to supply up to 85 per cent of our electricity needs by 2050.
  • Technology investment from both government and business will play a big part in tackling climate change. Reforestation schemes, carbon offsetting and direct air capture of CO2 and bioenergy and carbon capture and storage (BECCS) are quoted in particular.
  • The business community is listening. Eliot Whittington, director of the Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group told Business Green that the report has a “simple and empowering” message for businesses. “There is a very clear end point destination which is net zero emissions, and we should all be heading towards that destination as quickly as possible,” he says.

Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council said that business leaders “need to make bold decisions”. She added, “The construction and property industry in the UK is an economic juggernaut, and our buildings account for approximately 30% of carbon emissions. It is also the industry with the most cost-effective means of reducing carbon emissions so it will be a vital catalyst for change in the wider economy.”

At the Hub we’d love to hear more business reactions to the report. You can get in touch with us here.