Speed Reads

Climate change

UN report urges global cooperation to halt climate change

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A new United Nations report stresses that in order to stop the most devastating effects of global warming, the world must take action by 2020.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mitigation report was released Sunday in Berlin, and according to National Geographic, it contains 1,200 scenarios that could keep the most severe effects of global warming at bay by 2100. The proposals include growing forests to pulling carbon out of the air and painting roofs in a way that absorbs less heat.

"The longer we wait, the more costly things will be," says Charles Kolstad, a Stanford University economist and a lead author of the IPCC report. "It is possible to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, that's clear. But it will be a challenge."

To better our chances of averting the worst effects of global warming, the report says, global greenhouse gas emissions must be cut 40 to 70 percent by mid-century. In order to meet that goal, nuclear, solar, or renewable energy sources have to be tripled or quadrupled.

This is the third in a series of reports released by the UN this year that focus on climate change. Read more at National Geographic.