As things stand, we are still heading for 3℃ or more of global warming. We do not have 12 years to “do something” about it as the IPCC insists. Increasing numbers of commentators, journalists, scientists and environmentalists are breaking ranks from the “hopeful”, to argue that not only is far too little being done too late, but that dangerous climate change is already here. Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, has consistently criticised IPCC reports for magical thinking, for assuming that at some point in the near future technology will be both invented and rolled out on a mass scale that will suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (so-called negative emission technologies). At the moment, there are none that are close to being ready to be mass produced. Take these out of the most recent IPCC report and instead of 12 years to stop dangerous climate change we have just three. It is really important that we – that is, the vast majority of humanity who will or already are suffering the effects of dangerous climate change – move past “national action plans” and start to take action immediately against two groups largely responsible for climate change. They are the 100 or so corporations responsible for 71% of global carbon emissions and the wealthiest 10% of the global population responsible for 50% of consumption emissions. To put the latter in perspective, if this 10% reduced their consumption to the level of the average European that would produce a 30% cut in global emissions. Focusing on the wealthy and their corporations would enable us to bring about an immediate cut in carbon emissions. But it would also form part of a just transition, ensuring that the majority of the world’s population do not have to pay for climate policy, a conflict we have already seen on the streets of Paris in recent weeks in the yellow vests movement.
The Conversation 17th Dec 2018 read more »
2019 may indeed be a breakthrough year. Public opinion is mobilising around the world and politicians and businesses are paying attention. There will be a series of high-profile events that will engage the public and governments and may provide a better way forward than was managed last year. Chief among them is the promise of António Guterres, the UN secretary general, to hold a summit for world leaders that will require them to face up to the dangers of climate change head on. Guterres is uncompromising, warning in Poland that it would be “immoral and suicidal” not to take firm and urgent action commensurate with the scale of the problem. Leaders will be put on the spot, and will come under very public pressure as coalitions of civil society groups seek to put their case around the summit and in the lead-up to it. The role of women, who are among the most vulnerable to climate change, will be highlighted, and the role of young people, who will have to live with the consequences of their elders’ mistakes in a warming world. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, is also holding a One World Summit, planned for the summer, at which the focus will be on persuading businesses to take a leading role, investing in projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and changing the way they use energy. There are clear signs of hope on climate change also in the rapidly falling cost of renewable energy technology, which is now competitive with fossil fuels. And the Keep it in the ground campaign has succeeded in encouraging many investors to move their money out of fossil fuel stocks. But most of all the civil society campaigns which have ramped up in 2018 and look set to increase their momentum in the coming year are taking effect. Public opinion around the world is that our leaders, governments and businesses should be doing more on this vital issue. This can be seen in some unexpected ways, such as the rise of veganism and flexitarian eating, as people seek to reduce their impact on the climate from eating meat. Through well-publicised and effective movements and actions, more and more people are refusing silently to acquiesce in ignoring the dangers to the climate.
Guardian 2nd Jan 2019 read more »
Scotland’s nature is coming under increasing pressure from climate change, according to a new report that warns that the likes of machair and Atlantic salmon are among those habitats and species most at risk. WWF Scotland, the conservation charity, and Scottish Environment LINK, the forum for Scotland’s voluntary environment community, said the country’s biodiversity stood to suffer “catastrophic damage” due to rising global temperatures.
Scotsman 3rd Jan 2019 read more »
Scotland must play its part in the fight against climate change amid increasing warning signs from the natural world. Last year’s dramatic weather shifts – from the ‘Beast from the East’ to the hot, dry summer – may well have convinced some that our climate has indeed changed. For others, it may still feel like something far away in both time and space, a problem mainly for future generations and Arctic polar bears. But, according to conservation charity WWF Scotland and umbrella organisation Scottish Environmental Link, the natural world right on our doorstep is now coming under increasing pressure from changes in the weather.
Scotsman 3rd Jan 2019 read more »
Herald 3rd Jan 2019 read more »