Scientists Declare Climate Emergency
For decades, climate scientists sounded the climate change alarm bell. That alarm reverberated again in a paper published today in BioScience. Written by William J Ripple, Christopher Wolf, Thomas M Newsome, Phoebe Barnard (CBI's Chief Science and Policy Officer), and William R Moomaw and signed by more than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries - the authors and signatories declare a climate emergency.
From the Oregon State University's (OSU) press release, the scientists point to the following key areas that require immediate action to slow down the impacts of a warming planet:
- Energy. Implement massive conservation practices; replace fossil fuels with low-carbon renewables; leave remaining stocks of fossil fuels in the ground; eliminate subsidies to fossil fuel companies; and impose carbon fees that are high enough to restrain the use of fossil fuels.
- Short-lived pollutants. Swiftly cut emissions of methane, soot, hydrofluorocarbons and other short-lived climate pollutants; doing so has the potential to reduce the short-term warming trend by more than 50% over the next few decades.
- Nature. Restore and protect ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, peatlands, wetlands and mangroves, and allow a larger share of these ecosystems to reach their ecological potential for sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas.
- Food. Eat more plants and consume fewer animal products. The dietary shift would significantly reduce emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases and free up agricultural lands for growing human food rather than livestock feed. Reducing food waste is also critical – the scientists say at least one-third of all food produced ends up as garbage.
- Economy. Convert the economy to one that is carbon free to address human dependence on the biosphere and shift goals away from the growth of gross domestic product and the pursuit of affluence. Curb exploitation of ecosystems to maintain long-term biosphere sustainability.
- Population. Stabilize a global human population that is increasing by more than 200,000 people a day, using approaches that ensure social and economic justice.
*Read OSU's full press release here.