It's been believed that we have around 12 years to save the planet, but in a new report from the BBC, experts have warned it could be a much shorter time frame. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported last year that emissions of carbon dioxide would need to be cut approximately 45% by 2030, but some climate change specialists have warned since 2017 that 2020 could be the deadline to save the environment.
"The climate math is brutally clear: While the world can't be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020," Potsdam Climate Institute founder Hans Joachim Schellnhuber explained previously.
Britain's Prince Charles also echoed those sentiments at the reception for Commonwealth foreign ministers recently.
"I am firmly of the view that the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels and to restore nature to the equilibrium we need for our survival," he said.
A number of notable presidential candidates have warned of the consequences of ignoring the consequences of climate change if it isn't addressed by 2030, but BBC's environment correspondent Matt McGrath has argued in his report that action needs to be taken sooner.
"The sense that the end of next year is the last chance saloon for climate change is becoming clearer all the time," McGrath wrote. The general belief is that the rise in global temperature by 2100 should be kept below 1.5c, but as it stands right now the earth is heading for an overall 3c rise in temperatures. "As countries usually scope out their plans over five and 10 year timeframes, if the 45% carbon cut target by 2030 is to be met then the plans really need to be on the table by the end of 2020," McGrath added.
The global climate agreement that was signed in 2015 in Paris, which Donald Trump famously pulled the United States out of, has seen 185 states and the EU commit to improving their carbon-cutting plans by the end of the year.