Skip to main content

U.N. Climate Report

WIND POWER Renewable energy could help stop global warming, a U.N. report says. BING GUAN—BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES

Stopping climate change is possible. But time is running out, according to a new report released by the United Nations (U.N.) on April 4. In it, the world’s top climate scientists say that countries must sharply reduce their fossil-fuel emissions in the next few years. Otherwise, the dangers of global warming—including droughts, wildfires, and ecosystem loss—will become much worse.

“This is a climate emergency,” António Guterres says. He’s the U.N. Secretary-General. Not following the guidelines, he says, puts “us firmly on track toward an unlivable world.”

In 2015, world governments pledged to cut emissions and keep global warming to around 2.7°F. But many countries have not met their goals. At current emission rates, it will be hard to limit warming to 2.7°F after 2030.

But there is hope, the report says. Technology for renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, has gotten better, and cheaper. Experts add that wealthy countries, like the United States, could help poor nations move toward clean energy.

James Skea helps lead the group that released the report. “The big message we’ve got,” he says, “[is that] human activities got us into this problem, and human agency can actually get us out of it again.”

Stop & Think! HOW does the photo support the story? Does it reflect the message of the U.N. climate report? Explain. What other photos could have been used?