Climate Urgency Realism or Denial score

This is a suggestion for a scoring system to assess and help challenge any denial of the urgency of climate change and action needed.


Progress in science and medicine has often been assisted by the construction of measurement scales or scoring systems in order to clarify a concept and aid the assessment of it.

Signatories to the SGR Science Oath for the Climate [1] make commitments

A scoring system

Speaking out about what is not Paris compatible could be considerably aided by a clear definition of what is and what is not compatible. One possibility would be to identify the five most important points when discussing the scale and timeframe of action needed, and to award a score to documents, media reports etc on each of these five points using

The five key points could be

With a score of -1 to +1 on each of the five points, the overall total score would be in the range of -5 to +5.

The score would be a Climate Urgency Realism or Denial score.


An example of a document compatible with the Paris Climate Agreement is the Zero Carbon Sooner report from CUSP at Surrey University (2021) [2], which
This gives a score of +5, i.e. indicating realism with regard to climate change and the timeframe of action needed under the Paris Agreement.

An example of a document that is incompatible with the Paris Climate Agreement is the UK Government's Net Zero 2050 Strategy [3], which has
This gives a score of -5, indicating denial of the urgency of climate change and action needed.

Potential use of a Climate Urgency Realism/Denial score

The scoring system could be a way of assessing, ranking and challenging individuals and organisations, of initiating debate, and of raising awareness.

It seems that most individuals and organisations are currently unaware or in denial about the extreme urgency, and this includes many climate campaigners and organisations.

The construction and use of scoring systems for Paris compliance should be seen as "normal science" rather than "activism", as it is a dispassionate assessment of texts and whether they are mathematically compatible with what governments have signed up to, with no preconceptions.

How realistic are emission cuts of 25% per year?

If the UK had to make emission cuts of 25% per year, e.g. due to war and interruption of fossil fuel supplies, then of course it would.

Personal experience is that cuts of 10% per year by individual action is not difficult. If individual action is combined with appropriate government action, cuts of 25% do not seem out of reach.

If the UK does not make emission cuts in line with its commitments to the Paris and subsequent agreements, it is because it is making a choice that e.g. continued fossil fuel use for non-essential purposes such as flying on holidays is more important than stopping the emissions that are causing climate deaths and climate refugees. This choice is currently being hidden, but it is something that the UK population should be facing up to.



First published: 10 Apr 2022
Last updated: 11 Apr 2022