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  4. Italy vulnerable as climate 'timebomb' ticks - IPCC report

Italy vulnerable as climate 'timebomb' ticks - IPCC report

Land and sea ecosystems at risk, but it's not too late - experts

(ANSA) - ROME, MAR 20 - The climate crisis is a "timebomb" that is ticking, United Nations Secretary General Guterres said on Monday after the release to the final part of the sixth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which highlighted how Italy is among the countries that are highly vulnerable.
    The report said over a century of burning fossil fuels and unequal and unsustainable energy and land use have led to global warming of 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels.
    This has resulted in more frequent and more intense extreme weather events and higher risks for human health and ecosystems.
    In every region of the world, people are dying from extreme heat and climate-driven food and water insecurity is expected to increase with increased warming, the report said.
    It said the pace and scale of what has been done so far, and current plans, are insufficient to limit warming to key threshold of 1.5°C, beyond which damage to the climate will become irreversible.
    "Almost half of the world's population lives in regions that are highly vulnerable to climate change," said Aditi Mukherji, one of the 93 authors of this Synthesis Report, the closing chapter of the Panel's sixth assessment.
    "In the last decade, deaths from floods, droughts and storms were 15 times higher in highly vulnerable regions".
    Piero Lionello, an author of the section on Europe and the Mediterranean, highlighted the alarming situation Italy faces.
    He said it was subject to the typical risks of the European side of the Mediterranean, some down to climate change itself and others linked to the especially vulnerable nature of the ecosystems and production systems.
    These concern reductions in precipitation levels and the impact of this on water supplies, the vulnerability of coastal areas, the importance of the tourism sector and the threats to land and marine ecosystems posed by pollution and over-exploitation.
    But the report also said that there are multiple, feasible and effective options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to human-caused climate change, and they are available now.
    It said emissions should be decreasing by now and will need to be cut by almost half by 2030, if warming is to be limited to 1.5°C.
    "The climate timebomb is ticking," said Guterres.
    "But today's report is a how-to guide to defuse the climate timebomb.
    "It is a survival guide for humanity. As it shows, the 1.5C limit is achievable." (ANSA).


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