The Planet’s Report Card: Why climate action has never been more urgent.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just released a new climate report and the global scientific consensus is clear: Some of the most devastating impacts of climate change are locked in for years to come, but there’s still a chance, if we act now, to keep things from getting even worse.
What is the IPCC?
The IPCC is an international group of climate scientists, convened by the United Nations, which has spent the last 30 years studying the state of the planet. This week they released a landmark climate report that has confirmed what we already know—our planet is in crisis, and we are running out of time to take action.
What does the report say?
Here are the report’s major findings:
- Humans are changing the climate system so fast that nothing in the history of this ever-changing planet compares. Just one example: There’s more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere right now than at any point in the last 2 million years.
- Despite the many warnings given to us by scientists, we haven’t taken enough action to stop climate change from happening. The earth has already warmed about 1.1 degrees Celsius since the 1800s. Even if all nations cut emissions drastically today, extreme weather of the kind we’re already seeing will persist for decades, ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica will continue to melt through the end of the century, and sea levels will continue to rise for at least the next 2000 years.
- When it comes to ensuring a habitable, recognizable planet, it’s essential to keep warming at or below a 1.5-degree temperature rise. Every extra bit of warming beyond that threshold will lead to an increasingly catastrophic escalation in the intensity and frequency of heatwaves, floods, and droughts.
- It’s all hands on deck! Past inaction means that we have some serious catching up to do—but we can do it. It will take a tremendous amount of work, collaboration, and coordination between governments, but if we make the right choices today, we can save lives, species, and ecosystems.
What do these findings mean?
The message is unmistakeable: Only stronger, more decisive action this decade can prevent climate catastrophe. There is literally no time left to waste. We need climate action, and we need it now.
What can we do?
Climate change isn’t just a problem for the future. People in every corner of the globe are feeling its effects right now. So this is our climate moment. The world has just issued an international code red warning on climate change and we need our policy makers to act on it.
Despite what some policy makers and CEOs of big fossil fuel companies want us to think—the future isn’t set in stone. Do we really want to torch the entire planet just because a handful of CEOs are worried about their stock portfolios? We must change course if we are going to avoid an absolutely devastating, full-blown climate crisis.
We need to dramatically cut worldwide greenhouse gas emissions to ensure that we stay under a 1.5-degree rise in global temperature. We need a just transition to a clean-energy economy that protects and supports historically underserved frontline communities. Finally, every single one of us needs to contact our elected officials at every level of government and push them to act now.
This is our defining moment
Your voice is the most powerful thing on earth. When there are millions of us working together to demand change, we become incredibly powerful.
Now is the time to put pressure on policy makers to ensure urgent climate action. Together, we can hold our leaders to account and demand that we ditch fossil fuels, drastically cut carbon emissions, and put measures in place, fast, that will help us avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis.
There’s no time to lose. Join us today by taking action here.