Next week, the Global Climate Strike will result in millions of people walking out of their workplaces and homes to join young climate extraordinaires on the streets and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. With over 2,500 events registered across 117 countries, young activists like the powerful Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg are leading the way to raise global awareness of the risks posed by the current climate crisis to hold politicians accountable for their negligence on this global security threat.
“Our house is on fire – let’s act like it. We demand climate justice for everyone”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report concluded that to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5C to control for what is often referred to as irreversible “runaway climate change”, carbon dioxide emissions would have to be cut by 45% by 2030. However, since this report, markers of further warming and climate destruction have worsened much more rapidly than anticipated. In addition to the recent loss of Iceland’s glaciers, a 2019 study reported that 19,000 glaciers – a number far higher than demonstrated in previous research – suggests that they shedding approximately 335 billion tons of ice per year. The greenland ice sheet has been described as “terminally warm” and is exacerbating much faster than anticipated.
Scientific experts are now asserting that the next 18 months is pivotal and will dictate whether we have a chance at slowing down the crises in order to work towards reversal, albeit it is widely agreed that continued negligence will lead to a fatal result. Prince Charles recently said, “I am firmly of the view that the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels and to restore nature to the equilibrium we need for our survival” at a reception for Commonwealth foreign ministers. The plans that are in place are not meeting the mark, and we are still heading towards heating of 3-4C. We need plans in place urgently in order to have a chance to contain carbon by 2020, which is a sheer 4 months away.
We simply do not have time for denial and inaction; we need global activism and bold action demanded upon politicians and governments. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called a Climate Action Summit to be held in New York on the 23rd of September with the intention to rapidly improve national carbon cutting strategies. Many European countries are leading the way with their commitments to renewable energy, reforestation and urban planting, and carbon capturing initiatives. The UK government are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero by 2050 under the new government plans to tackle climate change. The progressive Prime Minister Theresa May has said there was a “moral duty to leave this world in a better condition than what we inherited.” This demonstrates just how essential political leadership is at present, and how important our vote and political engagement is at this time in history.
To tackle global climate change, we need the largest and the most powerful countries on board entirely, which is why the tensions surrounding the Brazillian government and deforestation motives are frightening, and the proud negligence and climate denial of the Trump administration is terrifying. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a US based nonprofit international environmental advocacy group have been forced to start a petition and turn to the public to support a legal battle to protect the Arctic by blocking the Trump Administration from allowing the oil giants to begin drilling in the Beaufort Sea, off the Arctic Reguge’s Coast. They report that the courts are the last, best line of defense to stop this climate catastrophe. The Democrats Green New Deal gives us hope that the US government will join the rest of the world, including rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.
Our ability to fight the climate crisis is now largely a political issue. For this reason, we invite you to Join the Global Climate Strike next week. Visit https://globalclimatestrike.net/ to find out about striking events near you or register your event. Share on social media and tag us @plantd in your posts and stories. Let’s demand to be heard – who’s with us?