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Latest UN climate report shows need for urgent action

The latest UN climate science report (called The Synthesis Report of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) makes for grim reading indeed.

Whether you want to read the summary for policy makers, the headline statements, or the presentation that accompanied the public launch the conclusion is clear; urgent action is needed now in all countries and all sectors if we want to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. Across all metrics (policy, financial investment, adaptation measures, sectoral decarbonisation, governance) we’re falling short and this will make the 2023 Global Stocktake very crucial.

In many ways the damage is already with us, and the report shows some of that whether that is destruction to communities in the global south or areas of the developed world becoming uninhabitable. To minimise this we need ‘deep, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions would lead to a discernible slowdown in global warming within around two decades, and also to discernible changes in atmospheric composition within a few years’.

Much of this is for governments to take heed of and implement, but businesses (including tech) are not let off the hook. The report pleasingly recognises that making tech more widespread in all countries can facilitate climate action and that ’finance, technology and international cooperation are critical enablers for accelerated climate action’. The UN goes further to say enhancing technology innovation systems is key to accelerate the widespread adoption of technologies and practices and this is something techUK members are keen to do.

We have already shared our views with government on what we feel are the barriers are to effective tech-led decarbonisation and really hope the UK government, as it finalises its response to the Mission Zero review, really heeds the call. This can make a huge difference (the World Economic Forum estimates digital tech delivering 15-20% global emissions reduction) so we need to scale the best innovations globally. UK tech businesses, and global firms with a UK presence have a really strong track record in ‘clean tech’ whether that is decarbonising the energy grid, making buildings and infrastructure more energy efficient or delivering wholesale changes to sectors that speed up their net zero journey.

To learn more about our work on climate change please visit our Climate Action Hub and members keen to get more involved with our work on climate can email Craig.Melson@techUK,org or sign up to our Climate Strategy and Resilience Group.

Click here for the full press release


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