The sobering reality is that even if every country meets their currently stated commitments under the Paris Agreement (and many, including the United States and the European Union, are falling at least a bit short at this point), that gets us less than halfway to where we need to be—i.e., on a path to limiting average global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, or about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. We need to keep warming below that level if we want to avoid some of the worst—and in some cases irreversible—impacts. Better yet, we should aim for the more stringent 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.6 degrees Fahrenheit) that many are now calling for. While the Paris Agreement is a good starting point, we need to go well beyond existing Paris commitments now to achieve the reductions that are necessary: more than 7.5 percent per year globally for the next decade. And the good news is that there is much that President-Elect Biden can do almost immediately once in office. As former President Obama demonstrated, the president can use diplomacy to negotiate powerful international agreements such as the Paris Agreement, issue executive actions to insure higher vehicle fuel efficiency standards, tighten regulations on polluters, and block massive additional fossil fuel infrastructure—such as the Keystone XL pipeline).
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 12th Jan 2021 read more »
Humankind faces what 17 scientists have called “a ghastly future” − a threat to the Earth’s living things “so great that it is difficult to grasp for even well-informed experts.” The dangers they pinpoint are the destruction and loss of the world’s plants and animals on an unprecedented scale; the overwhelming growth of the human population and the demand upon the world’s resources; and finally, climate disruption driven by human environmental change and fossil fuel dependence. “This dire situation places an extraordinary responsibility on scientists to speak out candidly and accurately when engaging with government, business and the public,” they write in the journal Frontiers in Conservation Science.
Climate News Network 19th Jan 2021 read more »