Climate change: Time is running out to avoid a catastrophe – Angus Robertson MSP

Humanity faces a “code red” warning, according to the United Nations.

A firefighter and locals rush to try to save a burning house as wildfires approach the village of Pefki on Evia, Greece's second largest island (Picture: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP via Getty Images)

The first large-scale report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 2013 warns of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding, and that a key temperature limit faces being broken in just over a decade.

According to the top scientists, temperatures across the surface of the world have risen since 1970 faster than in any 50-year period in the last two millennia.

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They highlight that global warming is “already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe”.

If any doubts remain about the climate crisis facing humanity, we have been given a real wake-up call this week.

Extreme weather events are occurring around the world, with major fires are burning out of control in Greece and California, only weeks after unprecedented flooding in continental Europe and China.

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The latest extreme weather conditions and the new UN climate report come less than three months ahead of the UN’s Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.

UN Secretary General António Guterres said: “If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as today's report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on government leaders and all stakeholders to ensure Cop26 is a success.”

Time is running out to avoid catastrophe with only a substantial reduction in greenhouse gases able to stabilise temperature rises. Governments across the world have endorsed the worrying findings of the UN climate report. They now need to act at Cop26 to help save the environment.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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