What the Earth Needs from Us
The latest IPCC Report and what we can do now to combat climate change
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As we embarked on a month filled with the celebration of our planet and efforts to protect it, the IPCC dropped another report highlighting our chances at warding off the climate crisis. Like most prior reports, this one emphasizes that things aren’t looking so hot. This begs the question that we try to help you answer each week, “what can we do?” So this week, we are briefly digging into the report, exploring what it will take to stimulate the changes we so desperately need, and highlighting what areas of the climate crisis need our immediate focus.
Our All Hands on Deck Moment
The latest IPCC Report
Last week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) a United Nations intergovernmental body that researches and communicates on climate change, released its latest report laying out a plan to reduce the worst effects of global warming. The long and the short of this +3K page report is that on paper we can still stay below 1.5 degrees of increased warming. However, in practice, it will take unprecedented acts of political will, institutional change, and societal shifts to make this happen in an extraordinarily short amount of time. But we are familiar with the unprecedented and we know we can handle it, so where do we begin?
The Good News
We already have the solutions and technology needed.
It’s possible to reduce emissions by half by 2030 if we switch to renewables now.
The money and resources already exist. They simply need to be redirected to climate projects.
“Getting to net zero by 2050 will the hardest thing people have ever done, but I believe it’s possible.” - Bill Gates
Five Climate Action Focuses
As suggested by the IPPC Report
This latest report laid out the areas that most urgently need our attention to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Take action in each of those arenas below.
1. Phasing Out Fossil Fuels
This latest report reveals that the continuous use of the current fossil-fuel infrastructure in its present form would cause the rate of global warming to surpass the 1.5-degree cap set by the Paris Climate Accords. Staying beneath this key threshold means that energy corporations must shut down their coal, oil, and natural-gas operations earlier than planned.
2. Carbon Sequestration
The amount of excess carbon in our atmosphere increases daily and will continue to rise until we reach zero carbon emissions. Protecting and building upon our natural carbon sequesters is essential to pulling this CO2 out of the atmosphere.
3. Curb Energy Demand
Reducing the human demand for energy through making shelter, mobility, & nutrition more efficient and sustainable could reduce emissions in those sectors by 40-70%. These kinds of changes can be enacted most quickly through legislation.
4. Increase spending to support climate projects & lobby for legislation
The report emphasized that the economic benefits of climate action will outweigh the costs and that those with the financial means have the opportunity to support and influence climate legislation and support climate projects.
5. Methane emissions
Methane emissions continue to grow but cutting them is one of the fastest and most effective ways to slow down global warming.
For More Activism Resources
Check out Catalyst20
Catalyst20 is a free weekly email newsletter that curates action items and resources to help you make an impact. Their mission is to increase your awareness of and engagement with critical issues ranging from women's rights to climate change to racial injustice. By sending actions and resources directly to your inbox every Monday morning, they make doing your part just another part of your routine.
Some Rays of Sunshine
The Headlines We’re Happy to See
Activism in Action
Youth climate strikes return with protests in 750 cities across the globe. - Read More
Protesters have forced a number of facilities to cease operating as they call on the UK government to stop new oil and gas projects. - Read More
Climate change protesters block London's Tower Bridge. - Read More
Hundreds of climate change activists protested at West Virginia power plant. - Read More
Kenyan youth climate activist highlights pollution on Lake Victoria. - Read more
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