The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on March 20, released its fourth and final installment of the sixth assessment report (AR6).
The report warns that "humanity is on thin ice" but emphasizes that the climate crisis can still be mitigated by reducing fossil fuel consumption and scaling up renewable energy.
The report identifies energy efficiency and renewable energy as the most affordable path to faster emission reduction and notes that providing energy access to low-income sub-Saharan Africa could be one of the highest return opportunities for developed countries.
The IPCC report presents climate mitigation strategies across five broad spectrums, including energy supply, land, water and food, settlements and infrastructure, health, and society livelihood and economy.
The report highlights several mitigation options under the "energy supply" spectrum, including solar energy, wind energy, electrification of urban systems, energy efficiency, demand-side management, improved forest- and crop/grassland management, and reduced food waste and loss.
The report notes that there have been sustained decreases in the unit costs of solar energy, wind energy, and lithium-ion batteries since 2010. The mix of policy instruments that reduced costs and stimulated adoption includes public R&D, funding for demonstration and pilot projects, and deployment subsidies to attain scale.
The IPCC also points out that maintaining emission-intensive systems may be more expensive than transitioning to low-emission systems in some regions and sectors, making it cheaper to transition to low-emission systems.
The report warns that a substantial "emissions gap" exists between global GHG emissions in 2030 associated with the implementation of NDCs announced prior to COP26 and those associated with modelled mitigation pathways that limit warming to 1.5°C or 2°C, making it likely that warming will exceed 1.5°C during the 21st century.
The IPCC states that the adoption of low-emission technologies lags in most developing countries, particularly the least developed ones, due to limited finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity.
The report notes that public and private finance flows for fossil fuels are still greater than those for climate adaptation and mitigation.
India has approved its revised NDC target of achieving net zero by 2070 and aims to have 500 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030.