World heading into ‘uncharted territory of destruction’, says climate report

People in Pakistan carry relief aid through flood water. Photograph: Fareed Khan/AP

Governments and businesses failing to change fast enough, says United in Science report, as weather gets increasingly extreme

The world’s chances of avoiding the worst ravages of climate breakdown are diminishing rapidly, as we enter “uncharted territory of destruction” through our failure to cut greenhouse gas emissions and take the actions needed to stave off catastrophe, leading scientists have said.

Despite intensifying warnings in recent years, governments and businesses have not been changing fast enough, according to the United in Science report published on Tuesday. The consequences are already being seen in increasingly extreme weather around the world, and we are in danger of provoking “tipping points” in the climate system that will mean more rapid and in some cases irreversible shifts.

Recent flooding in Pakistan, which the country’s climate minister claimed had covered a third of the country in water, is the latest example of extreme weather that is devastating swathes of the globe. The heatwave across Europe including the UK this summer, prolonged drought in China, a megadrought in the US and near-famine conditions in parts of Africa also reflect increasingly prevalent extremes of weather.

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