The global scientific authority on climate change, the IPCC, said the planet has 12 years with which to possibly achieve the 1.5-degree target, but it would require "transformational" change across all areas of society.
But as Jamie Henn, co-founder and the program director for the worldwide climate group 350.org, stated in a tweet on Tuesday, the "scariest thing about the IPCC Report" is the fact that "it's the watered down, consensus version". But they provide little hope the world will rise to the challenge.
The money will be needed for new energy infrastructure - wind, solar and electricity storage - as well as technologies that can capture excess Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Former George Tech atmospheric-sciences professor Judith A. Curry described the report's conclusions as the "same old, same old", based on questionable climate models and not "new science or better ways of assessing uncertainty".
Quoted in Tuesday's Guardian article about the dangers of ignoring potential tipping points, Nobel prize laureate Mario Molina, who shared the award for chemistry in 1995 for his work on ozone depletion, said: "The IPCC report demonstrates that it is still possible to keep the climate relatively safe, provided we muster an unprecedented level of cooperation, extraordinary speed and heroic scale of action". While he observed that numerous questions might have been better put to Nordhaus, he gave a formidable performance, demonstrating how the issues of climate change are not far from his main focus either. The decision to eat less meat, particularly beef, and dairy products has been identified by researchers as making a bigger impact on lowering greenhouse gas emissions than reducing flights or buying an electric auto.
To provide sufficient incentive to reduce carbon emissions that quickly would require a carbon tax of $27,000, the report estimates-almost double the current price of emitting a ton of carbon under California's cap-and-trade program. But Monday's report comes amid a reactionary political climate. But the United States' World War II industrial mobilization provides an encouraging precedent: Only three-and-a-half years elapsed between Pearl Harbor and D-Day.
The IPCC report is undeniably grim, but its authors state that the 1.5°C target can still be met if unprecedented, wide-ranging action is taken straight away.
The IPCC report also advises a shift to less energy-intensive household goods such as smart thermostats and air conditioners.
Ministers now face calls to replace the current target of cutting emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 with a zero-carbon target in line with the 1.5C goal.
"There are material differences between 1.5 C and 2 C", says Cleetus.
But no matter how many warnings we receive - and let's be honest, at this point we have had far too many - no one is willing to put their foot down and pump the brakes. Human-produced Carbon dioxide emissions would have to drop by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching "net zero" by 2050, according to the report. "Those pathways, at least in the special report, do not change with the updated carbon budget, as the calculations were done before the carbon budget was revised".
"The world we know today is not the world we will see in 50 years" if global warming exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius, warned Debora Ley, one of 91 authors of the report looking at the feasibility of holding temperature rise to the most ambitious target set in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
"Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming" the report said, adding that the world's poor are more likely to get hit hardest.