Climate action must happen now

What matters in science | View this email in your browser <> Tuesday 5 April 2022 [image: Nature Briefing] <>
Hello *Nature *readers, Today we hear that extreme steps are needed to avert climate disaster. Plus, we consider nine research priorities to address issues with cryptocurrencies and learn that controversial ‘CRISPR-baby’ scientist He Jiankui is out of jail. IPCC climate assessment report [image: Wind turbines of a wind farm in the province of Avellino, southern Italy.] <> One success story in the battle against climate change is that renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, have dropped significantly in cost over the past decade. (Vincenzo Izzo/LightRocket via Getty) Climate action must happen now <>
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report makes it clear that the window to avert the most destructive and irreversible effects of climate change <>is rapidly closing <>. It is the third of three IPCC reports that assess the scientific basis <> of climate change, how bad it is <> and how to fix it. The report finds that:
– Governments are acting too slowly, held back by the lobbying efforts of fossil-fuel companies. – Greenhouse-gas emissions continue to rise. – Wealthy countries must lend a helping hand to the countries that contributed least to the problem but face the worst impacts.
The good news:
– We have the renewable-energy technologies we need to make the change — and they are getting cheaper. – It is possible to pull carbon pollution out of the atmosphere by expanding forests and improving agricultural practices. – The economic benefits of limiting warming — including improved health and reduced damages — exceed the cost of mitigation.
Nature | 6 min read <> Go deeper with a detailed exploration of the report and its findings by <>*Carbon Brief* <> (94 min read) Reference: IPCC Sixth Assessment Report: Mitigation of Climate Change <>
Science drives action: research into the depletion of the ozone layer has led to policy developments, real behaviour change and a positive outcome for people and the planet. To support the action needed to combat climate change, Nature Portfolio has compiled a selection of important research articles on the topics of climate action, mitigation, adaptation, justice and finance <> . How researchers can fight climate change <>
Following today’s report, the IPCC will draw up one further synthesis document for decision-makers at the COP27 climate summit <> in Egypt in November. But the research community’s work stretches far beyond the IPCC. In January, a *Nature* editorial outlined how <> scientists of all stripes can offer up expertise and ensure that they have a voice <> in this monumental effort.
If you’re more the hands-on type, some researchers are joining groups such as Scientists for Extinction Rebellion <>. “As conservationists, we silently wish that members of the general public cared more about the destruction of nature,” conservationist Charlie Gardner told *Nature *in February. “Now they are taking to the streets and I have this moral obligation to be there in support.” Nature | 6 min read <>& Nature | 5 min read <> Read more: COP26 didn’t solve everything — but researchers must stay engaged <> (Nature | 5 min read, from November) NOTABLE QUOTABLE “We have the knowledge and technology to get this done… but increased action must begin this year, not next year; this month, not next month; and indeed today, not tomorrow.” <>
Inger Andersen, executive director for the UN Environment Programme, summarizes the IPCC report’s urgent call to action. (Nature | 6 min read <> )
Quote of the day “If the immediate goal is to keep the lights on, the long-term goal must be decarbonization.” <>
Europe can simultaneously end its dependence on Russian fossil fuels and meet its climate goals, argues a <> *Nature* <> editorial <>. (5 min read <> )