The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report on the state of climate change: the science is clear. Once considered an issue for a distant future, climate change is here now. The report outlines where we are, where we need to go and by when, and how we should get there.
We believe that in order to truly solve a problem, we must understand what it is. This report confirms that immediate and unprecedented action is necessary in order to shift our economy away from fossil fuels. Global carbon dioxide emissions must be decreasing at a dramatic scale in a decade, and a total elimination of coal by 2050 is a requirement.
It may seem like an impossible, insurmountable task. We know the Paris Climate Agreement target of keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius isn’t enough — those commitments still have us hitting the tipping point of 1.5 degrees Celsius, a goal that was raised by the nations most vulnerable to climate change.
As a nation, we are already on a path to decarbonization across all sectors of our economy. But we need to do more than decarbonize and we need to do it quickly. Our organization was established 12 years ago, and the report makes it clear the world essentially has another 12 years to dramatically move towards an equitable and resilient clean energy future.
What is required?
- No more fossil fuels by 2050; this means retiring all coal plants and preventing the development of new fossil fuel projects. Renewables are expected to outcompete fossil fuels as a new electricity source in almost every market by 2020.
- All businesses, homes, and vehicles must be off fossil fuels by 2030. The increasingly competitive price of renewables, the extraordinary technological gains in energy storage, and the rapid emergence of electric vehicles are part of our reality now and were unthinkable just three years ago.
- The continuation of businesses, investors, cities, and states intensifying their own climate action, as well as their support for national governments to set their economy on a decarbonization pathway.
- Reducing individual behaviors such as meat consumption and consumerism.
- Communities influencing the need for climate action and supporting visionary political leadership.
We know the solutions are doable. We know there will be consequences within a generation, but we will continue to act, marching in the right direction to realize a decarbonized world. At Climate Generation, we are committed to not only building a climate literate society with the knowledge, skills, self-efficacy, and motivation to urgently address climate change, but more importantly digging in to accelerate the transition.