Gas boilers must be scrapped within decades to combat climate change, urges major report on the impact of global warming
Using gas boilers to heat homes could be abandoned as governments are set to face renewed calls for dramatic action to tackle climate change. A major report on the impact of global warming, to be published on Monday, will warn about the speed and scale of measures required to keep temperature rises to a level beyond which many vulnerable countries say their survival is at risk.
Limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels would put an end to burning fossil fuels to generate power.
This would mean replacing petrol and diesel cars with electric vehicles or other clean alternatives and scrapping the use of gas boilers in homes in just a few decades.
Scientists and representatives of 195 governments who met in South Korea as part of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have approved the report, which will prompt new calls for dramatic and urgent steps to cut emissions to zero by 2050.
The world is already experiencing around 1C of global warming, and events such as floods, storms and heatwaves like the one in the UK this summer have become increasingly likely as a result of climate change, according to experts.
Letting temperature rises climb more than 1.5C will lead to sea level rises, an increase in heavy rainstorms and heatwaves, more people facing water scarcity and drought, greater spread of diseases and more economic losses.
While previous assessments looked at a range of scenarios for greenhouse gas emissions and what they would mean for the planet, this new study will spell out to governments that they are not doing enough – and what they need to do.
Scientists have warned that protecting and restoring forests will be key to cutting carbon and drawing down excess emissions from the atmosphere.
In addition, concerns have been raised about relying on unproved technology to take emissions out of the atmosphere to bring down temperatures again if the world exceeds the 1.5C mark.
Neil Thorns, director of advocacy at charity Cafod, said: “This report proves that keeping global temperatures to 1.5C is a necessity, not an ambition.
“Faced with such information we cannot leave poor communities standing on the front-line of this potential storm, we must act urgently.”