Each day we are confronted with alarming news about the state of our planet. In the last week alone, the UN warned of mounting threats to the world’s soils, new research found that warming temperatures are starving the planet’s lakes of oxygen, and a WWF report said that further global heating could spell disaster for beloved species such as snow leopards, bumblebees and emperor penguins. Temperatures today are around 1.2C above pre-industrial levels. And – despite a recent flurry of more ambitious climate pledges from countries – the world is still not on track to meet its goal of keeping global temperatures to well below 2C by the end of the century. But despite the very real challenges facing the natural world, there are still glimmers of hope. That’s according to some of the world’s leading environmental scientists, activists and politicians, who shared their reasons for remaining optimistic about our planet’s future with The Independent to mark World Environment Day. Michael E Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University and author of ‘The New Climate War’, It is a confluence of seemingly unconnected but in fact synergistic developments that makes me cautiously optimistic about our prospects for averting catastrophic climate change: an end to the age of denial, as climate impacts become obvious to the person on the street and impossible to doubt; a youth climate movement that has galvanised public attention and re-centred the conversation on our obligations to the least culpable and most vulnerable; a pandemic that has led us to ask long-overdue questions about the sustainability of our current path; and a favourable shift in political winds, together with renewed American leadership, which has raised the stakes and led fence-sitting nations to step up to the plate in the home stretch leading up to the Cop26 climate meeting in Glasgow later this year. That long-awaited climate action “tipping point” might finally have arrived.
Independent 5th June 2021 read more »
A historic tower clock in Glasgow has become the site of the Climate Clock, a daily reminder of the need to lower emissions to avoid irreversible global warming, in the lead-up to the COP26 climate conference. Tolbooth Steeple, in Merchant City, will host the light projection, which will run every night for the next five months, until the UN summit in November.
Herald 5th June 2021 read more »