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Live Reporting

Edited by Hugo Bachega

All times stated are UK

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  1. Report's main points - and that's it from us

    We're ending our live updates following the release of the landmark UN report on climate change. Thank you for joining us.

    Here are the key points:

    • Human activity is "unequivocally" to blame for global warming and some changes, such as sea-level rises, are irreversible
    • Human influence is "very likely" the main driver of the global retreat of glaciers since the 1990s and the decrease in Arctic sea-ice
    • It is "virtually certain" that hot extremes including heatwaves have become more frequent and more intense since the 1950s, while cold events have become less frequent and less severe
    • The past five years have been the hottest on record since 1850
    • There is still an opportunity to prevent even more severe impacts, by cutting emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases

    You can find out more about the report here.

    Today's updates were brought to you by Ashitha Nagesh, David Walker and Toby Luckhurst. The editors were Hugo Bachega and Robert Greenall.

  2. How to reduce your carbon footprint

    There's been a lot to digest from the climate report, and you may be asking yourself: What can I do?

    Our colleague Chris Morris from the BBC Reality Check team explains how changing three aspects of your lifestyle can make a difference.

    Video content

    Video caption: Climate Basics: Your carbon footprint explained
  3. 'The planet is on fire': More reaction to report

    US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm:

    Quote Message: The planet is on fire, and our hair should be on fire about this! We need to move faster to deploy, deploy, deploy clean energy and make our communities more resilient.

    Mohamed Nasheed, former Maldives president and ambassador for the climate vulnerable forum of 48 countries:

    Quote Message: We're paying with our lives for the carbon someone else emitted. We'll take measures soon to begin to address this injustice, which we cannot merely accept.

    Diann Black-Layne, ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda, lead climate negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States:

    Quote Message: If we keep warming to 1.5C, we're still facing 0.5m of sea level rise. But if we stop warming from reaching 2C, we can avoid a long-term three metres of sea level rise. That is our very future, right there.
  4. Your views: 'Politicians are shifting the blame on to us'

    Nick Garnett

    BBC News

    Darren Parkinson is a Green Party councillor in Shipley in West Yorkshire and is involved in the environmental campaign group, Clean Air Bradford.

    "What we do as individuals can make a real difference," he says.

    Darren Parkinson

    He's had a heat pump installed at the front of his house and has had his home fully insulated. He's also had solar panels on his roof for the last eight years, and says his home is now zero-carbon.

    "People should make whatever effort they can. We've put in a heat pump, but everything helps and people should hold the government to account and make it fulfil its commitments on climate change."

    He adds that while he knows the changes he's made are "difficult and expensive" for most people, the government should help with grants.

    And Dave Stevens thinks politicians are shifting the blame by saying people can tackle climate change by changing their own behaviour.

    Dave Stevens

    "They ask us to cycle more as if it's going to have a real impact, but, in the same breath, they're announcing billions of pounds to be spent on new road building schemes," he says, adding that there should be more tax incentives to encourage change.

    "Of course there should be more bike paths, more low carbon electricity, more Low Traffic Neighbourhoods - and not everyone will like everything, we'll all dislike something, but we've got to move ten times faster than we have been doing."

  5. Extreme weather in pictures

    Extreme heat, rainfall and other severe weather events are already more frequent and intense as a result of climate change, and the IPCC warns that as the planet continues to warm, this will only get worse.

    Here are pictures of some of the extreme weather we've seen in recent months.

    Wildfires on Evia island in Greece, August:

    Evia island wildfires in Greece
    Image caption: Firefighters are attempting to put out the flames raging on the Greek island this week

    The North American heatwave, July:

    Firefighter in California
    Image caption: The heatwave left huge areas of California bone-dry and prone to wildfires
    Cooling centre in Portland, OR for people affected by the heat
    Image caption: A cooling centre was set up at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland to help people affected by the heatwave

    Flooding in western Europe, July:

    Flooding in German city of Cologne
    Image caption: The Rhine river flooded the German city of Cologne
    Liège
    Image caption: The Belgian city of Liège was also hit by heavy flooding

    Flooding in Henan province in China, July:

    Zhengzhou
    Image caption: More than 300 people were killed in the flooding in Henan province
  6. Our 10 favourite climate solutions

    The IPCC report might seem overwhelming, but there are still things we can do to tackle climate change.

    Environment correspondent Matt McGrath and Science correspondent Victoria Gill have been discussing their favourite solutions - from carbon taxes to vintage shopping.

    You can hear more about tackling climate change with Liz Bonnin, on the What Planet Are We On Podcast, available now on BBC Sounds.

    Video content

    Video caption: Victoria Gill and Matt McGrath share their 10 favourite ways to tackle climate change.
  7. Millions more at risk of flooding, research shows

    Matt McGrath

    Environment correspondent

    A recent study shows that the percentage of the global population at risk from flooding has risen by almost a quarter since the year 2000.

    Satellite images were used to document the rise, which is far greater than had been predicted by computer models. The analysis shows that migration and a growing number of flood events are behind the rapid increase.

    By 2030, millions more will experience increased flooding due to climate and demographic change, according to the authors of the study, released before today's IPCC report.

    Flooding is the environmental disaster that impacts more people than any other, say researchers. That view has echoed around the world in recent weeks, with huge inundations destroying lives and property.

    In this new study, researchers looked at daily satellite imagery to estimate both the extent of flooding and the number of people exposed to over 900 large flood events between 2000 and 2018.

    They found that between 255 and 290 million people were directly affected - and between 2000 and 2015, the number of people living in these flooded locations increased by 58-86 million.

    This represents an increase of 20-24% in the proportion of the world population exposed to floods, some 10 times higher than previous estimates.

    Map of flood risk
  8. In graphics: Impact on extreme heat and rain

    The report warns that both extreme heat and extreme rainfall will become a lot more frequent and intense as global temperatures continue to rise.

    Both are already worse than pre-industrial levels, as the graphics below show.

    graphic
    graphic
  9. Five takeaways from report

    Satellite image of the Evia island fire
    Image caption: Satellite images show wildfires on the Greek island of Evia

    The IPCC's report was published this morning and is already making a huge impact, with world leaders and climate scientists across the globe calling for urgent action.

    So what have we learned?

    BBC environment correspondent Matt McGrath has summed up some of the biggest takeaways from the report - and you can read them in detail here.

    • Climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying - and it's down to us
    • The 1.5C temperature limit is on life support
    • The bad news: No matter what we do, the seas will continue to rise
    • The good news: Scientists are more certain about what will work
    • Politicians will be nervous, the courts will be busy
  10. Thunberg slams fashion brands over climate impact

    Greta Thunberg at the world heritage site of the Laponia area in Sapmi,  on July 13, 2021

    Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg has condemned the fashion industry over its "huge" contribution to climate change.

    The Swedish activist told Vogue Scandinavia that fashion brands needed to take responsibility for the environmental impact of their products. She highlighted "fast fashion that many treat as disposables".

    In a separate interview, Thunberg said she now plans to attend the UN climate conference due to be held in Glasgow this November. She had previously said she would skip COP26 because she was concerned that the pandemic would leave some countries unable to attend.

    "I've said before that I wasn't going to go if it wasn't fair," she told Reuters. "But now they say that they will vaccinate all the delegates that are going there. If that's considered fair and safe, then I will hopefully attend."

  11. Your tips on how to have a greener life

    You've been getting in touch with us with your thoughts on the IPCC report, and to tell us how you incorporate green habits into your lives.

    Keval Shah, London:

    Quote Message: My wife and I went vegan 11 years ago. The easiest, fastest and most convenient way to mitigate global warming is for the population to do the same. We need to get policymakers to make the connection now, as an urgent matter, and shift subsidies away from animal agriculture and towards a plant-based food system. Nothing else will work in time to save the planet.

    Anne-Marie Moore, Scotland:

    Quote Message: I grow a variety of plants to attract insects and small animal life. Don't use plastic where unnecessary. Don't drive anymore. Recycling all waste where possible. Monitoring energy use at home. Becoming more aware of issues and behaviours that cause issues so I can educate my family on how to be eco friendly.

    Lionel Tay, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:

    Quote Message: I educate my six-year-old son on climate change, and how to cut down waste and recycle as much as possible. I share with him the recent BBC news on the wildfires in US, Turkey and Greece, as well as floods in China, Germany, Belgium and India. This Covid-19 lockdown was perfect timing for us to show him how we can cut down usage of water, electricity and other resources at home.

    Brylie Christopher Oxley, Finland:

    Quote Message: Living with my son in a 50sqm apartment and without owning a private car. We're also primarily vegetarian, although we eat fish and some dairy (also oat milk substitute). Setting these kinds of constraints encourages more sustainable choices by default.
  12. Conservative split over IPCC report

    Esther McVey
    Image caption: Esther McVey is one Conservative worried about the costs of changes designed to reduce carbon emissions

    A small group of Conservative MPs in the UK have said they fear the costs of tackling climate change will harm poor families.

    Former cabinet minister Esther McVey is one of the Tory MPs worried about the cost of changing boilers and insulating homes.

    "What I would never want to do is bankrupt the country," she said. "We don't go green and go red as a country at the same time."

    But many others in the UK's ruling party have backed the government's net zero carbon target.

    Sam Hall, director of the Conservative Environment Network, which says it has the support of 105 Tory MPs, said the UK has a "huge opportunity" to lead the world.

    Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith has called the IPCC report "appalling reading".

  13. Analysis

    Analysis: Why China's climate policy matters to us all

    David Brown

    BBC News

    We've heard stark warnings this morning about the need to limit greenhouse gas emissions - and most of those warnings have been directed at governments.

    But China's carbon emissions are vast and growing, dwarfing those of other countries. Experts agree that without big reductions in China's emissions, the world cannot win the fight against climate change.

    President Xi Jinping has said his country will aim for its emissions to reach their highest point before 2030 and for carbon neutrality to be achieved by 2060 - but he has not said how China will achieve this extremely ambitious goal.

    While all countries face problems getting their emissions down, China is facing the biggest challenge.

    China's per-person emissions are about half those of the US, but its huge 1.4 billion population and explosive economic growth have pushed it way ahead of any other country in its overall emissions.

    China became the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide in 2006 and is now responsible for more than a quarter of the world's overall greenhouse gas emissions.

    The country has some big advantages, particularly its capacity to stick to long-term strategies and mobilise large-scale investments. The Chinese authorities are facing a colossal task. What happens next could hardly be more important.

  14. COP president calls for net zero emissions

    The president of COP26 - the global climate summit in Glasgow this November - says we need "far more in terms of action" to control rising global temperatures.

    Alok Sharma said the G20 group of nations was "absolutely key" to meeting targets, as they produced 80% of global emissions.

    Video content

    Video caption: Climate change: COP26 president calls on countries to commit to net zero emissions
  15. Our climate in graphics

    We've heard stark warnings about the rise in global temperature today. But what does that actually look like?

    graphic
    graphic
    Graphic
  16. Reality Check

    How does cutting emissions affect the UK economy?

    UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said this morning that cutting emissions does not necessarily need to mean the economy shrinking.

    “If you look at the figures since 1990, we’ve managed to reduce carbon emissions by 45% while growing the economy by 80% in that time,” he claimed.

    Total emissions did fall 45% between 1990 and 2019 in the UK. Coronavirus restrictions also led to a big reduction in the amount coming from the transport sector (that contributed to a 49% fall between 1990 and 2020).

    Between 1990 and 2019, the economy grew by 78%. Again there was a subsequent Covid affect, with some of that growth lost due to lockdowns (if you factor that in then the economy grew by 60% between 1990 and 2020).

    So the claim is supported by the 2019 figures, but those are now somewhat out of date.

  17. Greece battles wildfires amid heatwave

    Video content

    Video caption: Greece wildfires: 'It's like a horror movie but it's real life'

    Today's report makes it clear that the effects of climate change caused by human activity can already be seen around the world in extreme heatwaves, heavy rainfall, droughts and tropical cyclones.

    It comes as Greece experiences its most severe heatwave in 30 years, with devastating wildfires on the island of Evia.

  18. What has happened so far?

    If you are just joining us, here is a round-up of today's main events:

    • A major UN scientific report has warned that global warming is accelerating, with humankind unequivocally to blame
    • In its most damning assessment yet, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the planet's average surface temperature would hit 1.5C above pre-industrial levels around 2030 - a decade earlier than previously forecast
    • The landmark report said rising temperatures would cause more frequent, extreme weather events around the world
    • Valerie Masson-Delmotte, one of the co-chairs of the working group behind the report, said some changes would continue for hundreds or thousands of years and could only be slowed down with rapid and sustained emission reductions
  19. Analysis

    Analysis: Could worst case scenario sea level rise actually happen?

    Jonathan Amos

    Science correspondent

    We need to talk about that scary dotted line in the IPCC's sea-level projections - the one that says a global ocean rise approaching two metres by the end of the century can't be ruled out.

    Sea level graphic

    This outcome is considered a low probability but it would have major impact if it happened.

    The line has been included because there are processes that can affect the melting and break-up of ice sheets which scientists still don’t yet fully understand. One of these is something called Marine Ice Cliff Instability, or MICI (pron: Mickey).

    This is a scenario in which ice sheets could crumble away very quickly if the retreating edges of, say, Antarctica exposed extremely tall cliffs of ice. We know from the physics of ice that such structures cannot support their own weight and will slump.

    The question is: how likely is MICI to take hold in Antarctica and how fast could it progress?

    Right now, scientists can't answer this. They see some evidence for the process having occurred in the Earth's history; and think if it did happen, it's a possibility only under the most pessimistic warming futures.

    Dr Rob Larter, a marine geophysicist with the British Antarctic Survey, commented: "With the present state of knowledge I agree with the description of runaway MICI as a low probability. However, I think it would be negligent to ignore it."

    One final word. Don't lose sight of the sea-level rises that this report considers very likely. Remember, every additional centimetre increase in the height of the oceans puts more people at risk of coastal flooding.

  20. Changes 'irreversible in our lifetime': More experts' comments

    Valerie Masson-Delmotte, co-chair of the working group behind the IPCC report:

    Quote Message: Many of the changes set in motion by human-caused climate change are slow processes. These long lasting changes for the most part affect the planet's frozen regions and the oceans. Changes in ice sheets, deep ocean temperature and acidification will continue for centuries to thousands of years, meaning that they are irreversible in our lifetime and will continue for generations to come. The good news is that these irreversible changes can be slowed down with rapid, strong and sustained reductions in emissions.

    Hoesung Lee, chairman of the IPCC:

    Quote Message: It is indisputable that human activities are causing climate change and making extreme weather events more frequent and severe. [The report] shows that climate change is affecting every region on our planet. It explains that strong, rapid, sustained reduction in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions will be required to limit global warming.

    Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization:

    Quote Message: Have we lost hope? No and yes. According to this report we still have a chance to stop the negative climate trend by the middle of this century by especially limiting the use of fossil fuels and by stopping deforestation... The report underlines the urgency to enhance the ambition level of climate mitigation.