The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns in a special report that we have fewer than 12 years to prevent the average global temperature from rising to catastrophic levels, according to the BBC. The report emphatically concludes that global warming will reach 1.5ºC between 2030 and 2052, if it progresses at the current rate. An increase of 1.5ºC with respect to pre-industrial temperatures means the loss of 100% of coral reefs in the world, a rise of 10 cm in sea level – which puts millions of people at risk -, as well as a great decrease in harvesting capacity in many parts of the globe.

Being able to stay below 1.5ºC rise will require “rapid, profound and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” by governments and individuals alike, the Panel says. The report calls for changes in energy systems, the way we manage land, and the way we move through modes of transportation. To meet the 1.5ºC limit target, the estimated amount of investment needed in energy systems is 2.4 trillion dollars per year between 2016 and 2035.

The Paris agreement of 2015 put the target at a limit of 2ºC, with the idea that the changes caused by a rise of less than two degrees would be manageable by humans, but the scientists behind the new report warn that going above 1.5ºC is putting the habitability of the planet at risk.< /h3>