If you want to know what we have to do to avoid catastrophic climate change, 17 of the world’s leading climate scientists have worked out a simple but challenging solution: the world, they say, must turn by mid-century into a zero-carbon society.
The signatories to today’s “Earth Statement” say: “This trajectory is not one of economic pain, but of economic opportunity, progress and inclusiveness. It is a chance too good to be missed.
“The latest science indicates that there are critical thresholds in the Earth system. Transgressing them may lead to dramatic and irreversible environmental changes.
“We are probably edging very close to such thresholds, and may already have crossed one with regard to melting of parts of Antarctica. Sea-level rise of more than one metre due to this event alone may be inevitable.”
Window of opportunity
They are convinced that time is short. “The window of opportunity is closing fast,” says Johan Rockström, chair of the Earth League, an international group of scientists from leading research institutions working on issues caused by climate change, natural resource depletion, land degradation and water scarcity.
“We are on a trajectory that will leave our world irrevocably changed, far exceeding the 2°C mark. This gamble risks disaster for humanity, with unmanageable sea-level rise, heat waves, droughts and floods.