Governments must lead on climate action
In the first "Climate Conversations" post, Adrienn Sarandi and Bhaskar Sastry argue that the world is sleepwalking into Climageddon without government leadership on targeted subsidies and establishing a carbon price.
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- The IPCC believes it may be possible to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C, or well
below 2°C, above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century but that it
would require deep emissions reduction this decade and various technologies
to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Yet, greenhouse gas emissions
have been rising rather than falling while emissions reduction technologies are
in their infancy.
- We argue that the most potent levers available to decarbonise the global economy on time are expanding mandatory and sufficiently high carbon prices and appropriate subsidies implemented by governments around the world.
- Only governments have the power to mobilise private capital and influence consumer behaviour sufficiently quickly through the right financial incentives. Hence, governments urgently need to develop a detailed strategy for decarbonisation to provide a clearer outlook for consumers and companies and to create long-term opportunities for investors to finance the transition.
The new “Climate Conversations” series offers perspectives on climate change and the energy transition.
A climate of extremes
Unprecedented, record, catastrophic, destructive, deadly. Many pointed adjectives can be used to describe the impacts of climate change around the world in recent months. Between the floods that ravaged Pakistan, the growing intensity and frequency of wildfires on all continents, the droughts in Europe, China and Africa and innumerable heat waves, climate change is now hitting hard across the globe.
The impacts of these climate extremes are not short-lived and transitory but long-lasting and cumulative, with the poorest most at risk. Approximately half the global population is ‘highly vulnerable’ to climate change and millions already face starvation and water shortage. Madagascar has experienced the “world’s first climate change famine” according to the World Food Programme.
We are in an emergency situation, a “Code Red” for humanity, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations-led panel of scientists representing 196 countries.
The full article is available here.