Alok Sharma, UK Cabinet minister and President for the COP26 climate summit to be hosted by the UK this year, said the catastrophic climate warnings are already evident with the extreme floods, fires and heatwaves in recent times.
Ahead of a major climate report released by the UN today, Sharma told the Observer that the world is "dangerously close" to running out of time to stop a climate change catastrophe. In the interview, he advises, "We can't afford to wait two years, five years, ten years – this is the moment."
This latest report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) out on August 9 warns we'll likely reach 1.5 degrees warming in the next one or two decades unless we take immediate action.
In response to the report, India-born Sharma said: "We can do this together, by coming forward with ambitious 2030 emission reduction targets and long-term strategies with a pathway to net-zero by the middle of the century, and taking action now to end coal power, accelerate the roll-out of electric vehicles, tackle deforestation and reduce methane emissions."
The UK is already showing leadership with clear plans to reduce its emissions by 68% by 2030 and 78% by 2035, leading to net-zero by 2050. However, the new report shows that more action is urgently needed.