If the world fails to act now, the future will be changed beyond anything the coronavirus pandemic has brought about. Lord Stern, the climate economist, said: “This is a crucial moment in history. Either we recover [from the pandemic] in a strong and sustainable way, or we do not. We are at a real fork in the road. This decade is decisive.” Scientists have made it clear that greenhouse gas emissions must be halved by 2030 if the world is to stay within 1.5C of global heating – the threshold beyond which extreme weather will take hold, small islands and low-lying areas will face inundation, and swathes of the world will face water stress and heatwaves. Stern pointed to the chequered progress of the past 10 years, in which the cost of renewable energy has plunged and technology such as electric vehicles has increased, but in which progress on cutting emissions overall has been painfully slow. “The last decade was not very good, and this next decade could be just as bad or worse, if we make the wrong choices,” he said. Last month, the IEA said that if the 1.5C limit was to be maintained, all further exploration and development of new fossil fuels around the world must cease from this year, and came up with a series of milestones, such as phasing out fossil-fuelled vehicles, and fossil fuels for home heating, in the next two decades. The G7 could make a collective commitment to embrace these policies and goals, said Morgan. “If not, it would be a complete failure of their leadership.” When the G7 leaders fly away from Cornwall’s beaches, the last thing they may see is the writing on the sand, warning of the climate crisis. They will know that they have until November to come up with credible plans for Cop26.
Guardian 11th June 2021 read more »