The Global Tipping Points Report, presented this morning at COP28 at Expo City in Dubai, was produced by an international team of more than 200 researchers, coordinated by the University of Exeter, in partnership with Bezos Earth Fund, in which two CRETUS researcher participates as co-authors: José Antonio Sanabria, Margarita Salas researcher and Prof. Sebastián Villasante from the University of Santiago de Compostela, funded by the European Research Council in its Consolidator Grant project.
The world has reached a pivotal moment as threats from Earth system tipping points – and progress towards positive tipping points – accelerate, a new report shows. The Global Tipping Points Report – the most comprehensive assessment of tipping points ever conducted – says humanity is currently on a disastrous trajectory.
Based on an assessment of 26 negative Earth system tipping points, the report concludes “business as usual” is no longer possible – with rapid changes to nature and societies already happening, and more coming.
The report lays out a plan to achieve this, saying that bold and coordinated policies could trigger positive turning points across multiple sectors, including energy, transport and food. A cascade of positive tipping points would save millions of lives, prevent hardship for billions of people, reduce climate-related damages by trillions of dollars, and begin to restore the natural world on which we all depend.
For Prof. Sebastián Villasante, co-author of Chapter 4 “Tipping points in technology, economy and society”, «tipping points also offer our best hope: we have to prioritize and trigger positive tipping points in our societies and economies. This is already happening in areas ranging from renewable energy and electric vehicles to social movements and plant-based diets. Now is the time to trigger a cascade of positive turning points to ensure a safe, fair and sustainable future for humanity,” concludes the researcher funded by the European Research Council in his Consolidator Grant EqualSea project.
For José Antonio Sanabria, co-author of Chapter 2, «Currently, our global governance system is inadequate to confront the threats that lie ahead and implement the solutions that are urgently needed. “Some tipping points are likely to be triggered in the Earth system, causing severe and disproportionate impacts within and between nations.”
The report includes six key recommendations:
- Phase out fossil fuels and land-use emissions now, stopping them well before 2050.
- Strengthen adaptation and “loss and damage” governance, recognising inequality between and within nations.
- Include tipping points in the Global Stocktake (the world’s climate “inventory”) and Nationally Determined Contributions (each country’s efforts to tackle climate change)
- Coordinate policy efforts to trigger positive tipping points.
- Convene an urgent global summit on tipping points.
- Deepen knowledge of tipping points. The research team supports calls for an IPCC Special Report on tipping points.
The Report will be publicly available at: https://global-tipping-points.org/