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The latest IPCC report: What it means for business

24 March 2023

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) launched its latest report on the climate crisis earlier this week – and it makes for challenging reading.

The AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023 summarises five years of reports on global temperature rises, fossil fuel emissions and climate impacts.

Here are some of the main findings of the IPCC report and what needs to happen to limit global warming to below 1.5°C:

  • Human-caused climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe – with widespread loss and damage to both nature and people.
  • We are currently at around 1.1°C of warming and current climate policies are projected to increase global warming by 3.2°C by 2100. Without decisive and dramatic intervention, it looks very unlikely that we will now be able to stay below the initial target of 1.5C of warming.
  • Public and private finance flows for fossil fuels are still greater than those for climate adaptation and mitigation, but the report is clear in that the route to net zero is to be found in renewable forms of energy, and our reliance on coal, oil and gas must be dramatically reduced. To keep within the 1.5°C limit, emissions need to be reduced by at least 43% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels, and at least 60% by 2035. This is the decisive decade to make that happen.
  • The technology and knowledge needed to help get us collectively towards net zero already exist, it has been a lack of urgency and decision-making that has slowed progress.

As the IPCC report shows, we’re not too late to avoid passing 1.5 °C, but we need to make some big changes, quickly. If we don’t the impacts of climate change will only get worse. The cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of action – and the financial implications will impact everyone, from governments to companies and families.

What can your organisation do?

Plainly, the main reason for reducing your organisation’s carbon footprint is to help support the global effort to reduce the impacts of climate change. But the measures taken to achieve this also work together to help reduce energy costs, increase energy efficiency, and reduce reliance on traditional forms of energy such as gas, oil, and coal – which as we have seen recently, can be impacted by global events outside of our control.

There are many ways that organisations can look to integrate carbon reduction and energy efficiency measures into the workplace and many larger organisations may already have a detailed plan to net zero already in place. But if you are at the start of that journey, it can be tough knowing where to start.

Compliance schemes such as Streamline Energy & Carbon Reporting (SECR) and Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) are mandatory for many of the UK’s larger organisations. But the schemes also provide a structured way of identifying and reporting your carbon footprint and energy usage and identifying ways to improve your energy efficiency in a manageable way. The success of these schemes has meant that we are increasingly finding that organisations that don’t naturally fall under the mandatory requirements of the scheme are seeing the benefits of doing so and are completing them voluntarily.

The IPCC report makes it very clear that a big collective effort is needed to stop the greater impacts of climate change and we all have a responsibility to make sure we are working towards reduced reliance on fossil fuels. Using SECR and ESOS proactively might be the start your organisation needs to make the first step towards greater change.

To speak to one of our sustainability experts, or to find out more about how else we can help you to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption, call us on 08451 46 36 26 or email enquiries@inenco.com.