Article

Still Time to Act: But World Needs Emergency Response to Stop Dangerous Climate

Massive Systems Change Needed to Make Big Emissions Cuts Say World’s Top Climate Scientists
Forests and Technologies to Suck Carbon from the Air Needed to Support Action Across Energy, Transport, Buildings, Consumerism and Food Production
UN Secretary General Demands an End to Fossil Fuel Subsidies in a Passionate Speech
By Nick Nuttall
The world is running out of time to halve emissions by 2030 and get on track to a safer, net zero world by 2050.
Only a massive, dramatic cut in emissions across the globe and across all sectors of the economy—from the way we travel, power our communities, feed ourselves, consume and heat and cool our buildings—can reverse the threat of dangerous climate change, says the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its new report out today.

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Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General in a passionate speech accused governments and some sectors of the business world of ‘sleep walking’ to disaster and urged a massive ramping up of renewable energies and an end to coal and to fossil fuel subsidies.
The clock is ticking so fast that swift and rapid emissions cuts must now be supplemented by removing carbon pollution from the air and the atmosphere, say the scientists.
Boosting the world’s forest cover and other nature-based solutions will be important but the scientists also focused on the need to rapidly develop and commercialize new technologies able to capture carbon pollution from power stations and factories and stored safely.
Other technologies that must be now considered are ones that remove carbon from the air and stop it from entering the atmosphere—so called direct air capture—say the scientists from the third working group of the IPCC’s sixth assessment.
Diana Ürge-Vorsatz, Vice Chair of IPCC’s Working Group III and a Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy at the Central European University added: “Carbon dioxide removal will be essential to achieve net zero”.
Today’s report looks at the options to achieve the safety goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. It argues that emissions world-wide need to peak by 2025 to realize a 43 per cent cut in pollution by 2030.
The researchers point out that on current trajectories the world is facing a temperature rise above 3 degrees C, which could be devastating.
Despite the red alert of this and the previous two assessments underpinning the cycle of the sixth assessment, the 278 authors from over 60 countries who have compiled the latest report say it is still possible to keep a temperature rise to no more than 1.5-degree C.
They point to the sharply rising penetration of renewable energy and the tumbling costs while also underlining that the challenge of climate change has been stimulating a great deal of innovation including in respect to digitalization and battery storage.
Moving forward the assessment notes, among many issues, the need to step up faster with renewable energies to electrify transportation, generate green hydrogen to supply aviation and shipping with alternative fuels alongside biofuels and to decarbonize buildings.
The assessment sees great potential in cities which are linked to some two thirds of global emissions including via green roofs, trees and wetlands and by, in older urban centers, the retrofitting of buildings.
Crucial to firing up a faster transition will be steep rises in finance into the green, decarbonization space.
The assessment says that financial flows into climate action are currently three to six times lower than they need to be to reach the interim 2030 emission reduction goals.
Importantly the report urges citizens to prioritize walking and cycling as important lifestyle choices to make a difference at a personal level while also flagging the role of plant-based diets.

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Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, responded to the report with unprecedentedly tough and impatient remarks, aimed at governments but also sectors of the business world for their lack of urgency and accused them of “lying”.
“The jury has reached the verdict and it is damming. This report is a litany of broken climate promises. It is a file of shame, cataloging the empty pledges that put us firmly on track to an unlivable world,” he said.
“We are on a fast track to climate disaster. This is not fiction or exaggeration. It is what science tells us will result from our current energy policies…this is a climate emergency,” said The UN Secretary General.
With a nod to the war in the Ukraine and the responses of many governments, he accused too many of adding fuel to the crisis by investing in fossil fuels and failing to take their climate targets seriously when renewables are cheaper, generate jobs and provide greater security.
Guterres Applauds Climate Activists
“Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries who are increasing the production of fossil fuels. Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness, “said Mr Guterres.

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“But it does not have to be this way. The report is focused on cutting emissions. It sets out viable, sound options, in every sector that can keep the possibility of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C alive, “he said.
Mr Guterres urged a tripling of the speed of the shift to renewable energies “and that means moving investments and subsidies from fossil fuels to renewables now”.
He urged citizens everywhere to act and to hold governments accountable to the pledges made in Paris in 2015 and Glasgow in 2021.

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“We need a grassroots movement that cannot be ignored. If you live in a big city, a rural area or a small island state or if you invest in the stock market, if you care about justice, about children’s future, I am appealing directly to you—demand that renewable energy is introduced now and at speed and at scale. Demand an end to coal power, demand an end to fossil fuel subsidies, “he said.
Note. We Don’t Have Time has partnered with the UN Development Programme on its #dontchoseextinctioncampaign aimed at encouraging governments to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.
Our ten part series , called the Dino Talks, has so far broadcast two episodes. They can be screened at
https://www.wedonthavetime.org/events/dino-talks-ii



Read the UN News Cente UN climate report: It’s ‘now or never’ to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees

https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/04/1115452

IPCC News Release https://www.ipcc.ch/2022/04/04/ipcc-ar6-wgiii-pressrelease/







  • Kevin ROLFE

    113 w

    An excellent summary Nick

    1
    • Patrick Kiash

      114 w

      Great Summary! Well detailed and pinpointing the fact. It's time to act collectively.

      1
      • Johannes Luiga

        114 w

        It´s totally crucial to stop the emissions now. I still hope that the Russian invasion of Ukraine will make the world cut down it´s dependance on fossil energy from an aggressor like Putin but the investments need to go into renewables and not oil from other countries. The fastest way to speed up transition is probably to stop the fossil subsidies

        2
        • Prachi Jain

          114 w

          This is an excellent summarization and a warning signal that we only have a couple of years left to put our plans into action, or the devastation will be unprecedented and irreversible. Let us raise our voices and make the planet a livable one!

          1
          • Magaji Obaike

            114 w

            The choice is now ours not to choose extinction over existence by continuing to put profit before people and planet. If this report isn't alarming enough, then I can only imagine what will.

            1
            • Josephine Naaeke

              114 w

              It was a touching speech by Antionio Gutteres, action should be followed immediately. What else do we want-, to live or to die out? It is a matter of urgency, for 2030 is just around the corner.

              1
              • Marine Stephan

                114 w

                We don't have time to wait. Only three years left to keep a livable world. Thank you so much for this summary!

                1
                • Kumar M Iyer

                  114 w

                  The UN as an organisation has lost its relevance. Toothless and spineless, it cowtows to the global north and has no powers to crack the whip. Mere posturing and lecturing will not cut it anymore. Development has to flow rapidly to the global south, and the global north needs to degrow even more rapidly. Unless the global north says, WE HAVE ENOUGH, this is not going to happen. This mad rush and greed for more, will drive us to the sixth extinction sooner rather than later. I may seem cynical, but this is the truth, which we have to accept and act upon. Otherwise we are only deluding ourselves that we have a chance. Not happening this way, for sure.

                  1
                  • Ingmar Rentzhog

                    114 w

                    We have no other global institution. We need to empower the UN not dismantle it. I disagree with you about south vs north. We need both south and north onboard and it is not true that the global south is acting more for the climate. Most leaders in the south want to do what the global north is doing. And that is not the solution.

                    2
                    • Kumar M Iyer

                      114 w

                      @Rentzhog That is exactly what I mean. The UN has to morph into something different from what it is today. And yes, the south is not acting more for the climate but if they can get out of the constant fight for survival, then they can look towards climate change. The north needs to accept their wrong practices and move towards degrowth. The south needs to adapt more sustainable development practices and not blindly copy the north. More localisation and appropriate technology and practices are the way forward and we need to do it as one rather than in pockets. That will never work.

                      3
                      • Ingmar Rentzhog

                        114 w

                        @kumar_iyer very true!

                        1
                        • Magaji Obaike

                          114 w

                          @kumar_iyer you put it pricisely

                          1
                        • Sarah Chabane

                          114 w

                          Great summary Nick, I wish more people would listen to Antiónio Guterres words and get inspired to act

                          2
                          • Christina Carlmark

                            114 w

                            Today is a good day to act on climate. And every following day as well. Until the end of time.

                            1
                            • Nick Nuttall

                              114 w

                              Yes he was very passionate !

                              • Ingmar Rentzhog

                                114 w

                                Excellent summary, Nick. The biggest news for me from the press briefing was the harsh language spoken by the general secretary of the United Nations. I don’t understand why most people still don’t listen. We must share this everywhere!

                                3
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