TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Earth is “firmly on track toward an unlivable world” and “it’s now or never” were two headlines from the alarming Mitigation of Climate Change report released this week from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the report by the IPCC revealed “a litany of broken climate promises” by governments and corporations, and accused them of stoking global warming by clinging to harmful fossil fuels.

“It is a file of shame, cataloguing the empty pledges that put us firmly on track toward an unlivable world,” he said. “We are already perilously close to tipping points that could lead to cascading and irreversible climate impacts.”

The report warned that to limit warming below critical levels, the world must reach peak emissions by 2025. In order to keep warming below the Paris Agreement goal of 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F), the world must almost half our emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases by 2030.

This is a near impossible feat because so much of our energy needs still rely on burning fossil fuels and, although the rate of increase of emissions has slowed, annual global greenhouse gas emissions are at their highest levels in human history.

The burning of fossil fuels has had profound changes on our atmospheric chemistry. Carbon dioxide has increased 50% since the 1800s, from 280 parts per million (ppm) to almost 420 ppm. This matters because carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping greenhouse gas.

Since the late 1800s, global temperatures have warmed by 2 degrees Fahrenheit and rising greenhouse gases are responsible for virtually all of the associated climate warming. The excess heat in the system has resulted in stronger hurricanes, bigger wildfires and more intense heatwaves.

Warming Stripes from Professor Ed Hawkins, University of Reading, UK. The blue stripes indicate temperatures below normal and the red stripes indicate temperatures above normal.

In the last 800 thousand years, CO2 levels have barely, if ever, exceeded 300 ppm. But that number was passed in 1910 and since then it has shot straight up to nearly 420 ppm.

To put that into perspective, concentrations of carbon dioxide are now higher than they have been in 4.5 million years and the rate of increase in emissions is higher than at any time in the last 66 million years.

The UN IPCC report did share some good news. The authors say we now have the technology to solve the climate challenge and we can afford it because costs of clean energy sources have dropped sharply. The cost of renewable energy like solar, wind and batteries have fallen by up to 85%.

What is missing now is political will and policies to help accelerate humanity’s transition away from fossil fuels and towards clean forms of energy.