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How Cities Can Lead on Climate Change Solutions

The latest United Nations climate change report paints a dire picture, but IPCC co-chair Debra Roberts says urban residents have a critical role to play in addressing the crisis.
At the COPS24 climate conference in Katowice, Poland, diplomats from more than 130 nations have gathered to discuss the increasingly urgent threat facing the warming planet.
At the COPS24 climate conference in Katowice, Poland, diplomats from more than 130 nations have gathered to discuss the increasingly urgent threat facing the warming planet.© cop24.gov.pl

This week, diplomats from about 130 countries are gathered in Katowice, Poland, for COP 24, the latest in the annual series of climate change meetings convened under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. At the heart of the discussions this year is a grim report released in October by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR1.5).

The product of more than 90 scientists working from thousands of peer-reviewed studies, SR1.5 laid out the catastrophic effects of exceeding 1.5°C warming over the coming decades. Much of the global news coverage that followed the report’s release focused on a chilling projection in the form of 12-year deadline the IPCC established to limit the most disastrous impacts of planetary warming. “It’s a line in the sand,” said Debra Roberts, a co-chair of Working Group II of SR1.5.