Governments have met since 1992 and achieved diddly-squat, but this year the impetus for a radical agreement has been unprecedented. Top people from all aspects of society – from science, banking, business and religion, have all called for action.
The Earth Statement, authored by 17 of the world’s leading scientists and economists such as Brian Hoskins, Lord Stern and Jeffrey Sachs, and supported by such names as Mary Robinson, Richard Branson, and the CEOs of IKEA, Unilever and H&M, calls for courageous action in Paris. It says:
‘A new global citizens’ movement is heeding the scientific evidence, demanding immediate climate action. Societies across the world have given political leaders a mandate and a responsibility to act for a safe climate future now. Informed by scientific knowledge, inspired by economic assessments and guided by the moral imperative, we call on world leaders to work towards the following eight essential elements of a Paris Agreement and associated set of actions and plans that would represent a global turning point in December 2015.’
It then lists ‘Eight Essential Elements of Climate Action in Paris’, including,
- Governments must put into practice their commitment to limit global warming to below 2°C. We should aim to stay as far below it as possible, since even 2°C warming will cause significant damage and disruption. However, we are currently on a path to around 4°C warming by 2100, which would create unmanageable environmental challenges. If we do not act now, there is even a 1 in 10 risk of going beyond 6°C by 2100. We would surely not accept such a high risk of disaster in other realms of society. As a comparison, such a 1 in 10 probability is the equivalent of tolerating about 10,000 airplane crashes every day worldwide!
- The remaining global carbon budget – the limit of what we can still emit in the future – must be well below 1000 Gt CO2 to have a reasonable chance to hold the 2°C line. Respecting the global carbon budget means leaving at least three quarters of all known fossil fuel reserves in the ground.
- We need to fundamentally transform the economy and adopt a global goal to phase out greenhouse gases completely by mid-century. Deep decarbonization, starting immediately and leading to a zero-carbon society by 2050 or shortly thereafter, is key to future prosperity. Fossil fuel subsidies should be removed urgently, and investment should be redirected to spark a global renewable energy revolution, warranting energy access for all and particularly for those most in need.
- Equity is critical for a successful global agreement in Paris. Every country must formulate an emissions pathway consistent with deep decarbonization. For the sake of fairness, rich countries and progressive industries can and should take the lead and decarbonize well before mid-century.
We can all join this call!
- Sign the Earth Statement here: earthstatement.org
- Write about it to our MP – for more help with this go to hftf.org.uk
- Join the rally in London on Sunday November 29th. campaigncc.org/climatemarchlondon . If you’d like to join a group coming from Fleet and Hartley Wintney, email firstname.lastname@example.org