( Four minute read)
We are 1.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels now.
1.5 degrees C is not a cliff; civilization does not automatically expire if temperatures exceed that threshold.
Humanity has nearly all the knowledge and tools needed to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C.
The challenges are not primarily technological; they are political and economic.
What are these challenges?
World economy, which currently relies on fossil fuels for 80% of its energy, from collapsing in the process, the demand for these fuels must be radically reduced.
A major reason the world’s forests are felled at such catastrophic rates is to grow more food products, especially beef, soy, and palm oil.
Climate greenwashing that is, rhetorical promises by governments, corporations, or banks that claim to solve the crisis but may or may not measure up in practice.
The concept of “net zero emissions” demands special attention.
“Net zero” is not necessarily a dodge, but offsets have a spotty record of achievement.
Many net-zero commitments by governments and businesses cite 2050 as the year when net zero will be reached. Indeed, roughly 80% of the world economy is now covered by commitments of net zero by 2050.
However “Net zero ”at the moment means giving a country or company that reduce emissions ( not to absolute zero;) rather, some emissions will continue, but they will be “offset” by countervailing measures that extract carbon from the atmosphere so the net result is zero emissions.
Promising that emissions will end by 2050 is easy for today’s politicians and corporate leaders, but that goal is only reachable if actual emissions fall by half in the next decade. Climate delay is just as lethal, precisely because 40 years of failing to act has left zero time for further delay.
2050 is far enough off that bold claims might seem possible, but those claims are only credible if they include real (i.e., non-offsets), substantial emissions reductions during the next 10 years, so whether such commitments carry an action plan that credibly cuts emissions in half by 2030 we will have to wait and see.
Why is that humanity waited so long to start the job.
No one wants to pay or to carry the can.
Money is at the heart of the climate emergency and its solutions.
At the moment, the world’s governments provide roughly $5.9 trillion a year in subsidies for fossil fuels, according to the International Monetary Fund. Meanwhile, the vast majority of governments’ stimulus spending to revive Covid-battered economies has reinforced the fossil fuel status quo rather than boosted the zero-carbon activities needed for a climate-safe future.
The challenge going forward is to halt spending that harms the climate and redirect spending to actions that help it.
This requires leaving most of fossil fuel reserves in the ground. But those reserves were (and still are) counted as wealth in the stock holdings of investors; leaving them unburned would render trillions of dollars of invested wealth worthless.
The main reason we waited so long is that some very rich and powerful economic and political interests knew climate action would interfere with their profits and privilege.
Fossil fuel companies now face dozens of lawsuits from governments and civil society groups demanding compensation for the climate damages the companies’ lying helped cause.
As the extreme weather in recent years has shown, climate impacts are punishing even after “only” 1.1 degrees C of temperature rise. This is especially so for the roughly two billion people who live in the (usually poorer) countries most vulnerable to climate change. Temperatures and impacts are bound to increase in the years ahead, if only because humanity can’t halt emissions overnight. Hence, the need for what climate experts call “adaptation”: actions to reduce one’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. Adaptation has never gotten the attention mitigation gets, perhaps because it was assumed, wrongly, that the rich could adapt relatively easily to rising temperatures
Now that smart money is abandoning fossil fuels, two big questions are coming into focus: How much of the rest of the market will follow the same course? And will enough of the money that’s leaving fossil fuels now flow to the technologies and practices needed to defuse the climate emergency?
The key is what governments will do to encourage private banks and investors to stop funding climate destruction and instead finance climate solutions.
Finally: In the end we will all pay.
So here is a suggestion.
Rather than begging;
Why not create a perpetual World Aid Fund, funded by all of us, which is both transparent and fair and above corruption.
How could this be achieved:
Instead of private bankers, central banks, country governments etc, making financial promises they underwrite the issue and interest returns on (Non Tradable) GREEN BONDS that are eligible to enter a Lotto style monthly draw.
These Bonds could be purchased on line from 5 euros (with no interest) to 500 euros and up paying x% amount of interest.
In the meantime we have the technology to place 0.05% on all economic activities that are for Profit sake only. Example Profit Seeking Algorithms, Currency transactions over $50,000 , Sovereign Wealth Funds Acquisition, Gambling, etc.
Who would Control the Distribute these funds:
The United Nations out side any Veto influence.
What would the funds to use for. Sustainability Projects. Green energy transformation, Reduction of inequality.
Who would monitor there effects: The Earth.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.