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'The warning bells are louder' with latest IPCC report on climate change


Experts are calling the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report alarming and say world leaders and citizens must act now before the situation gets worse.

Environmental groups say it's time to get serious about climate change.

"The science is better but the warning bells are louder," said Gretchen Fitzgerald of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation.

The United Nations' panel on climate change says drastic action need to happen -- and fast.

If we don't change our ways, human activities will continue to push the global temperature to a place that could trigger catastrophic events.

"Human influence is making extreme climate events, including heat waves, heavy rainfall, and droughts more frequent and severe," said Ko Barrett, the IPCC vice-chair. "What's new in this report is that we can attribute many more changes at the global and regional level to human influence."

Dalhousie University professor Karen Beazley calls this report a "wake-up call."

She says we need to prepare for the changes that are inevitable.

"Don't build our houses right on the coast," Beazley said. "There's going to be sea level rise, there's going to be storm surges, we need to retreat back from the shoreline."

But experts say we also must do our part to stop things from getting worse.

"Is anybody doing enough? I think the answer has to be no," said Scott Skinner of the Clean Foundation in Dartmouth. "We've not yet begun to reduce emissions and the legislative targets that have been put in place by the province, the federal and national governments everywhere -- there's a lot of work to do."

Not driving as much, or moving to an electric vehicle, or bicycle may help, but  environmentalists say climate change needs to be treated by world leaders with the same level of urgency as the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We've seen under COVID what's possible when politicians treat an emergency like an emergency," Fitzgerald says. "Just as we report on COVID rates, we should be reporting on greenhouse gas emissions."

Kelsey Lane is with the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax.

"Climate change doesn't know any borders or boundaries," Lane said. "With the planet that we share, from ecology systems that are integrated, we know that here in Nova Scotia we're going to feel the impacts of climate change from all corners of the world."

With an election campaign underway in Nova Scotia, environmental groups are urging residents, when a candidate comes knocking at your door looking for vote, to ask what they'll do to reduce or stop climate change. Top Stories

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