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Apr-13-2022 15:50printcommentsVideo

Climate Change on the Back Burner

We have the knowledge, money, technology and affordable clean energy needed to cut our carbon emissions in half by 2030. But WILL WE?

IPCC

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA.) - According to the April 2022 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the window for limiting global warming to relatively safe levels is rapidly closing.

Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health. Any further delay in international action will result in an unlivable and unsustainable future for us all.

In order to meet the goals of The Paris Agreement to limit the average global temperature rise to 1.5°C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels—and failing that, to below 2°C—will take immediate and unprecedented action from every country.

In response to the climate crisis, at least 200 countries met at the COP26 U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow from October 31, 2021 to November 12, 2021. Notably China and Russia were not represented at the summit.

The largest delegation was fossil fuel lobbyists who like the world the way it is. The delegates reached a consensus that all nations must do much more, immediately, to reach decarbonization to limit future global temperature rise to 2°C, but ideally to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels by 2030.

The lofty rhetoric of world leaders at the summit did not include an agreement on concrete action. Lots of talk, too little concrete action. Or as environmental activist Greta Thunberg put it, the COP26 climate summit was a failure; it was “blah, blah, blah.”

The next climate summit will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt on 7-18 November 2022. Unfortunately, the next summit will probably end like the last with much talk and too little progress. And the United States, the second largest carbon polluter after China, will probably again be unable to show by example much progress as the $1.75 trillion Budget Reconciliation bill, which includes the Build Back Better Act with all its climate provisions intact. This would have been a $555 billion framework to combat the climate crisis.

We have the knowledge, money, technology and affordable clean energy that we need to cut our carbon emissions in half by 2030. That’s the good news from the IPCC. What needs to be done is dramatically reduce the use of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and cut methane emissions by one-third.

According to the report, what’s standing in the way of reaching this goal is the lack of political will and sufficient funding. The U.S. has a toxic partisan government primarily concerned with the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

If the GOP wins a majority in either the House or the Senate or both in the midterm elections, then it is unlikely any action on climate change will happen during the remainder of Joe Biden’ s presidency and possible beyond. We can then look to the consequences of too little on climate change.

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