On October 8, 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s leading body for assessing the science of climate change and its impacts, potential risks, and possible responses, issued Global Warming of 1.5°C (press release). The report strongly signals that we are already experiencing impacts of climate change (more extreme weather, sea level rise, and others) and the importance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C to avoid highly grave consequences and give societies and ecosystems more time to adapt to change.
The report finds that “rapid and far-reaching” transitions are needed in our energy and land systems, including buildings, industry, transport, and cities, to reach “net zero” carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. In examining pathways to limit warming, the report notes the that many beneficial actions are already underway though they would need to be accelerated.
States have been among the leaders in addressing climate challenges explicitly or implicitly through energy, resilience, and related planning and policies. Among recent examples of state activities are the recently released Climate Action for Alaska and 2018 Virginia Energy Plan.