Climate crisis core facts
We know that we have to limit warming to 1.5°C global temperature rice to surely avoid a rampant climate change. In order to do so we can not rely on negative emission technologies and we have to take equity and justice into account.
The UN IPCC rapport 2018 describes the enormous difference between 1.5°C and 2°C global warming. As the average global temperature increases, so does the risk of triggering so called tipping points, which will cause the earth to move from self-regulating to self-heating.
Tipping points at risk because of global warming:
“The message is clear: 2°C means a completely unacceptable risk of loss and damage to human society, from cryosphere dynamics alone. We must aim for 1.5°C, and to be frank, to the extent possible plan for a return to 1°C as soon as possible because of the way the cryosphere will respond even at the long-term 1.5°C level, through negative emissions measures.”
Learn more by listening to professor Will Steffen’s lecture at the Climate Students Sweden’s conference 2019.
What is required?
The 2°C goal requires a reduction in industrial countries of 15% each year starting 2017. Almost three years without such reductions have now passed, which is why we are demanding a higher tempo. Learn more in this article and this presentation (10.19 mins in) by professor Kevin Anderson.
The time to reduce emissions is now. In order to avoid a global warming of 1.5°C, with a 66 % chance of success, only two years remain with the rate of emissions described in 2017, according to the Carbon Brief analysis.
Accoarding to IPCCs report 2021, the release of additional 300 billion tons of carbon will give us 83% chance to limit warming to 1.5°C. Each year we release 40 billion tons. If this continue, we have only 7.5 years left before 1.5°C. Here you can see the clock ticking down and the time difference between 1.5°C and 2°C.
UN Environments Emissions Gap Report 2017: “The overarching conclusions of the report are that there is an urgent need for accelerated short-term action and enhanced longer-term national ambition, if the goals of the Paris Agreement are to remain achievable” (s. xiv).
This picture is from IPCC press conference in August 2021:
About climate equity
Climate equity means that countries who have historically generated a lot of greenhouse gases should reduce their emissions at a quicker rate than countries who have not. It also entails that countries who can reduce emissions faster than others, should do so. This is included in article 2.2 of the Paris agreement. Learn more
To limit to 1.5°C we need carbon zero targets that is based on science. For industrial countries that means reducing emissions in a much faster rate than the global average. An industrial country can therefore not set net zero targets that is later than 2030.
About negative emissions
We can not rely on technologies that do not yet exist at scale, nor ones who hold future generations responsible for resolving this mess. We take responsibility and act for quick emission reductions now. Watch professor Kevin Anderson explain the problem with negative emissions technologies in this video (33 mins in) and in this article.