Clive Lewis quipped tongue in cheek at the Labour party’s recent conference that as a sci-fi fan “planet-destroying catastrophes” float his boat.

The Labour frontbench spokesman, who has been tasked by shadow chancellor John McDonnell with running a green audit over the opposition’s spending plans, will have much to get his teeth into with the findings of the latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

The report’s most sobering conclusion is that the world is off track to keep temperature rises from increasing to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by 2050. This is important because above this level the more catastrophic impacts of global warming, like a near disappearance of Earth’s coral reefs, kick in.

The world has only a dozen years to get things back on track – less than three general elections – which could be useful for concentrating the minds of Westminster politicians.

Judging by the just-concluded party conference season, political consensus appears to be solidifying around the imperative to decarbonise the economy.

Labour has planted its flag firmly in the renewable energy camp. And even the Conservative climate change sceptic wing was quiet while pressure started to build for a relaxation of the government’s hardline stance against new onshore wind and solar deployment.

The government shows few signs of changing its direction on this issue, but the prospect of imminent apocalypse might just concentrate minds.