It is probably not what he is doing right now, but Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott should be wondering exactly how long it is that he can continue with his climate change policy charade.

On Sunday, the United Nations climate body the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivered the third of its landmark updates on the climate science, impacts and mitigation options. The chief message of Working Group III, the mitigation of climate change, was one of hope: the world still had time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and although this would require a dramatic and urgent decarbonisation of the world’s energy and transport systems, it needn’t actually cost that much.