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A shocking new report commissioned by the World Bank is warning temperatures could rise by 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, causing devastating food shortages, rising sea levels, cyclones and drought — even if countries meet their current pledges to reduce emissions. If these promises are not met, the increase could happen even sooner. Meanwhile, scientists say it is still not too late to minimize the devastating impact of climate change. A separate report by the Climate Action Tracker says global warming could be kept below 2 degrees. “This is an imminent risk that will affect every living person on the planet if we push the ecosystems of the world into a major extinction crisis,” says Bill Hare, a leading physicist and environmental scientist who helped produce both of these latest reports. Hare is CEO and managing director of Climate Analytics and the lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 reports, “Mitigation of Climate Change” and “The Synthesis Report.” Hare calls for a carbon tax — putting a small price on emissions — to reduce the benefit of burning fossil fuels and enable funding of new technologies to reduce the disastrous release of greenhouse gases. [includes rush transcript]

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Bill Hare, CEO and managing director of Climate Analytics and the lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 reports, “Mitigation of Climate Change” and “The Synthesis Report.”

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