August 10, 2021
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Yesterday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change, released a new report with updated climate science and projections. Below you will find highlights from the report as well as my takeaways. As always, please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Very truly yours, Joan Meschino
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Releases New Report
Yesterday's report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change underscores the need for urgent action to combat the climate crisis. The report, authored by 234 leading scientists from more than 60 countries, documents that the world has quickly warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels and is moving rapidly toward the 1.5 degree threshold, a limit agreed upon by scientists that could avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Without large-scale reductions in emissions, the report finds, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will not be possible.

The report presents five scenarios demonstrating the paths our planet could take in response to the climate crisis, all of which see the globe warming at least 1.5º Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Only one - the lowest emission scenario in which emissions decrease to net zero by 2050 - sees the planet’s warming eventually move below the 1.5º threshold.
The report:
  • Concludes unequivocally that human influence has contributed to global warming, which has in turn caused unprecedented changes to our planet’s climate. 
  • Projects increasing heat waves, longer warm seasons and shorter cold seasons for 1.5°C of global warming, and projects more dire heat extremes for agriculture and health for 2°C of global warming. Climate changes will also include increases in the frequency and intensity of hot extremes, marine heatwaves, heavy precipitation, agricultural and ecological droughts in some regions, intense tropical cyclones, and reductions in Arctic sea ice, snow cover and permafrost. 
  • Finds that with each additional increment of global warming, projected changes will increase in intensity and impact.

Nonetheless, despite its dire findings, the report demonstrates that our actions can determine the future course of the planet’s climate. Though some changes are irreversible, including glacier melt, warmer oceans, and rising seas, current and future efforts to reduce emissions and decarbonize our economy will have an overall positive impact and limit the extent to which the planet warms.

In Massachusetts, local and state leaders reacted to the report's findings with resolve, expressing commitments to meet the moment and scale of the crisis we face.
Representative Meschino Reacts to IPCC Report
We can do this! The IPCC report reinforces the urgent need for action across the globe. This necessity inspired me to file the 2050 Roadmap bill, which was signed into law March 2021 as part of the Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy.

Massachusetts is well positioned to continue to lead on climate change. The 2050 Roadmap's targets are in place. The Commonwealth has committed to decarbonize our economy. Now the Commonwealth must tackle the work to reduce our carbon emissions across all sectors.

This urgency is why I continue to file bold energy and environment legislation, bills that I see as critical to our own efforts to pursue an equitable clean energy future here in the Commonwealth. My legislation includes bills on zero emission vehicles and public fleets, decarbonizing buildings, and environmental justice.

To find more information on the energy and environment bills I have filed this session, please visit our webpage.
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