A climate urgency checklist
What is a climate urgency checklist?It is a list of points to be included (where relevant) in any article or document on policies to combat climate change, together with a list of fallacies to be avoided.
Why is there a need for a climate urgency checklist?In summary, there is almost universal agreement that action is needed to reduce the emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, but there is little agreement on how fast emissions should be reduced. Policies that cut emissions too slowly may be worse than having no policies at all as they give the impression that something is being done.
- There is widespread climate urgency denial - see document 50
- There is widespread concern that governments are not telling the truth
- At the launch of the latest IPCC report in April 2022, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres accused governments of lying: "Simply put, they are lying." See document 136
- Greta Thunberg and colleagues repeatedly complain that governments are not telling the truth
- The first demand of Extinction Rebellion is for governments to tell the truth
- Fake news, greenwashing, and self-censoring are much discussed as problems
- António Guterres has said that we need "to create a grassroots movement that cannot be ignored" - this has to be based on telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth
- for writers wanting to adhere to the truth
- in assessing media articles, campaigning reports, policy suggestions etc
Elements of a checklistThe following are some points that should be included in a climate urgency checklist
A. Points to include, where relevant
- Global warming must be kept below 1.5°C by limiting further total global CO2 emissions to the CO2 budget specified by the IPCC
- The UK's CO2 budget should be determined as a fair share of the global CO2 budget, with the meaning of "fair share" explicitly stated, e.g. an equal per capita share
- The UK's per capita "fair share" CO2 budget will run out at the end of 2024 at the current emission rate
- Radical emission cuts of over 25% per year are needed in order to comply with the UK's Paris and other commitments
- The UK Government's Net Zero 2050 timescale meets the UK's Paris Agreement commitments - it would take three times the UK's per capita "fair share" of the global CO2 budget for 1.5°C.
First published: 22 Jul 2022
Last updated: 27 Jul 2022