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The climate emergency and what to do about it

Why climate change is an emergency

  • The UN IPCC report of 2018 says
    We must keep global warming to 1.5° . We’ve already caused 1° of global warming, so we have little leeway.
    To keep to 1.5° of warming, we have 11 years to halve CO2 emissions
    The next few years are the most important in the history of mankind
  • But global emissions are still rising - 2018 was a record year and governments are not doing what they promised in the 2015 Paris agreement
  • The planet is heading for 6° of global warming by 2100, causing large areas of the planet to become uninhabitable, mass starvation, species extinction, climate refugees, social unrest and civilisation breakdown
  • The richest countries pollute the most - and the poorest suffer the most
  • The situation is becoming desperate
Children deserve better than this.

What must STOP

  • The assumption that prosperity requires endless fossil-fuelled economic growth
  • Expansion of fossil-fuel dependence: road building, airport expansion, increased international trade
  • Using GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as a measure of success
  • False solutions: electric vehicles (powered by fossil-fuel electricity), carbon capture (not proved to be economic)
  • Arrogance, complacency, deceit and prevarication from politicians of all parties - e.g. the UK Government is claiming a large reduction in UK emissions when the truth is no change

What must START

  • Urgency, honesty and competent decision-making from all politicians
  • Individuals reducing their carbon footprint by 10% in the next 12 months - e.g. using the calculator at carbonindependent.org
  • A massive programme of home insulation and other Passiv Haus technology - by government subsidy and educational programmes
  • Investment in renewable energy, in walking and cycling, and in local food production and distribution
  • Much greater citizen involvement in decision-making - to ensure politicians and officials comply with the best scientific and democratic standards

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First published: Apr 2019
Last updated: 1 May 2019