We know what needs to be done, and it’s simple: A massive and speedy decrease of CO2 emissions to make sure that the planet remains a home where we can live.
It’s now beyond doubt that the problem is caused by humans, and it’s our responsibility to fix it. The good news is that there is still some time and we already have the tools and knowledge needed. We just need sufficient will and keep addressing the climate emergency as our top priority.
Putting it in more scientific terms: To stay within the moderate risk scenario of a 1,5-degree global temperate increase, we need to follow the carbon law. We must halve greenhouse gas emissions across the world by 2030, halve again by 2040, and become “net-zero” (meaning that we have cut emissions by 90-95% while withdrawing a substantial amount of CO2 from the atmosphere). That’s the latest and the least.
However, simple doesn’t mean easy. We’re already at a 1,1-degree global temperature increase. Staying under 1,5-degrees will require a cultural and lifestyle change. Most of all, it will require a systemic change of our energy systems - which cause the majority of CO2 emissions. Coal needs to go first. The good news is that it’s not too late to do this. Some tipping points have already been passed, but following the carbon law from here on will get us on back on the trajectory to limiting increase to 1,5 degrees over time.
But this decade is the last chance we have. The planet will survive, but it’s code red for humanity. We put ourselves in this crisis. Half of the total CO2 emissions have happened since 1990. And we can get us out. It’s technically and financially possible (no source of energy has ever in history been as cheap as solar is right now). What has been lacking is the will to make addressing the climate emergency a priority. We know it’s difficult to keep long term effects in mind when other more spectacular and immediate problems surface, so let’s help remind each other of what is most important long term.
/ David Ekelund, Co-founder and CEO, Icebug.