Governments will gather today in Stockholm to start considering the final text for the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group 1 report, widely expected to highlight the drivers of climate change.
According to WWF Global Climate and Energy Initiative leader Samantha Smith, the report should give more clarity on the science and increased certainty about the causes of climate change.
"More than 800 scientists from around the world have contributed to writing a compelling scientific account of the state of the earth. The report is going to underscore a terrifying reality – that the earth is warming at an alarming rate and that these temperature changes are already having serious consequences for both people and planet," she says.
Our natural world is sending a distress signal and we're ignoring it at our own peril. But if governments act now, comprehensively and immediately, they will be able to do something to change the dangerous path we are on, she says.
"The energy sector is the main culprit causing runaway climate change – but it also contains the solution to this challenge. We expect this report to confirm again that burning fossil fuels is driving dangerous climate change. Extraction of fossil fuels is also increasingly a driver for direct loss of biodiversity. But at the same time, renewable energy provides a straightforward, proven and increasingly affordable and safe solution, with far fewer direct impacts."
If we are to follow the science, then we have to stop investing in fossil fuels and increase investment in sustainable renewable energy. WWF is calling on investors and financiers around the world to end their support for coal and to increase investments in sustainable, renewable energy, including energy access for the poor.
"Getting a future where our economies are powered by renewable energy is not only within reach but is the only option we have if we are to leave a sustainable world to our children."
Explore further: Characterizing permafrost microbes in a changing climate