The world is at crossroads. Awareness is growing rapidly that overshooting the aspirational goal of the Paris Agreement (PA) to limit global warming to 1.5°C would severely jeopardise the achievement of the SDGs, making the poor poorer, and causing increasing inequalities, conflicts and humanitarian catastrophes.
Climate action and sustainable development are in-separable. The IPCC Special Report Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15) was the first to systematically examine the links between different scenarios of global warming and sustainable development. It was the first to identify climate risks that can only be avoided by ambitious climate action, and the tremendous socio-economic opportunities ‒ or co-benefits of sustainable development ‒ that can be realised by taking ambitious climate action. The IPCC also discusses possible trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation on the one hand, and SDGs on the other. Minimising these trade-offs requires knowledge gaps to be closed, particularly with regard to the foot-print associated with land-use change caused by following 1.5°C-consistent pathways. Finally, in the report the IPCC stresses the importance of design triple-win solutions based on mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development.
Our report summarises the main facts and trends identified by the IPCC’s special report and other leading scientific literature. We focus on showing the key risks and the possible differences between a 1.5°C and a 2°C world. Moreover, we show where these differences would be felt the most, and how they may have an impact on the achievement of the SDGs and human rights, and translate into humanitarian challenges and concerns for justice. We identify Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Least Developed Countries (LDCs), South Asia, Southern Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Central America and Northeast Brazil as hot spots. Agriculture, water, health, (coastal) communities and cities, and tropical marine (coral) ecosystems are the areas most at risk if average global temperatures rise above 1.5°C