(CNN)Scientists have warned for decades that we were changing the climate in a way that would have devastating impacts on the planet and our lives. A landmark report on Monday showed that's already happening, and faster than we expected.
Climate scientists have done their bit. Now the pressure is on leaders for COP26.
The findings, by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), serve as a stern wake-up call for politicians, business leaders and policy makers, who in just 12 weeks will meet for the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow to address the biggest existential challenge in human history.
For decades, global policy has lagged behind the science, but leaders and big business are now being forced to play catch-up as their constituents and clients battle heat waves, wildfires and floods that are proving costly and deadly.
"You've got the politicians being squeezed by the science, which is confirming a sense of alarm and fear, you've got the science now in the public mind," said Tom Burke, co-founder of E3G, a European climate think tank. "You've got capital markets saying this is beginning to really threaten the future value of our investments. So you've got enormous pressure building up on the politicians."
Amid the growing pressure, climate-minded policymakers are likely to face hurdles in making November's COP26 conference a success, which is often measured by how far the most conservative leaders are willing to go. Recent multilateral meetings on climate between far fewer nations have ended with disappointing results, sometimes even in division.