No. 44




Climate Change and Climate Targets

08 December 2021


RiTo No. 44, 2021

According to the Global Risks Report published by the World Economic Forum, extreme weather conditions, failure of climate action and human-induced environmental damage are the most likely risks of the next decade.

This is supported by the data of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which show that during the last fifty years, 50 per cent of disasters are connected with weather, climate and water. If the warming of climate continues, extreme events will take place more often and bring about more serious consequences. Since 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published assessment reports that bring together the latest scientific information on climate system and climate change. The latest IPCC report “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis” emphasises in its main messages that the changes in climate are widespread, rapid and intensifying. Many of the changes are unprecedented in thousands of years. Some of these changes are irreversible, some could be slowed down and others could be stopped by limiting of warming. Influence of human activity on climate is undisputed. Unless there are immediate and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to 1.5 °C will be beyond reach.

In order to achieve the European Union’s climate targets on the road to climate neutrality, the Commission has come up with a package code-named “Fit for 55”. The package is made up of interlinked proposals that will result in the strengthening of eight existing laws and regulations and the presentation of five new initiatives in different policy areas and economic sectors: climate, energy and fuels, transport, buildings, land use and forestry. Besides increasing of the existing modernisation and innovation funds, creating a new social fund for climate action is proposed. “Fit for 55” will be the basis for the debate on the European Union legislation, which have to be agreed upon between Member States and the European Parliament in the coming years.

Today, scientists say unequivocally that during the last centuries, global warming has been driven by human activity. If humans have had the power to change something in negative direction, then their power to turn it positive should also not be underestimated. Cooperation between states in setting common goals and promoting research and innovation are the key factors here.