Today, the COP24 ends, the evening before I was wondering what would be the impact of it, and if we would definitely close the window of opportunity to keep climate change livable.
We cannot turn back the time, as the song goes, but we can get the best out of the time which is still to come, within the given circumstances.
We cannot undo the global warming effect of 1 degrees which we already caused and its accompanying consequences of climate change.Records were broken in terms of heath, droughts, floods, and rising sea level among other severe consecuences of climate change. However, we can prevent this records to be broken year after year.
Therefore we have to act now.
Fast and profound.
This is why world leaders were gathering in Poland the past ten days at the 24th Conference of the Parties, which was hold for the first time in 1995, in order to address climate change.
Let’s face it, it hasn’t been addressed enough since then, and the agreements made – called the Paris Agreement – is far below the requiered ambitions. To say it bold and crude: the Paris Agreement – even lived up to the letter, which might be tough considering its voluntary character – is not going to keep or planet liveable. Not at all.
The IPCC (international panel on climate change) which is an independent organisation of researchers out of the entire world, with the aim to deliver independent research on climate change, is working on a series of research papers. The first one was published in October in Incheon, South Korea. It appointed to the impact of 1.5 degrees of global warming. Just to make sure we’re on the same page: the Paris Agreement would in theory result in a 2 degrees warming, while the same report even points out that in reality this will be about 3 degrees, hence high above the researched scenario.
This report is mind blowing, since it proofs scientifically that a scenario of 1.5 degrees already will have an enormous impact, on the planet and on human beings in terms of migration, health problems, even higher mortality, flooding, water scarcity, starvation, and not to mention indirect consequences such as war and geopolitcal conflicts. President Trump might not be the only one pulling up walls.
Eventually, what really blowed my mind, and kept me between madness and sadness, was the fact that they do not even investigated the 2 degrees scenario, let alone the 3 degrees scenario. Sometimes blanc lines are very meaningfull.
The good thing is, there is hope, there can be sunshine after the rain, or rain after the droughts, depending on your position. The scenario appoints out that we are now at a tipping point. If we stop now adding additional green house gases in the air, we can make things right.
We cannot undo the current global warming of 1 degrees (maybe one day when the proper technology is developed, or when the earth has recovered in a far future), but at least we can prevent things from getting worse. And adapt where climate change already hit severe, as I will tell you more about in my next post on bangkok’s resilience strategies.
So, what we should do now, is keeping the window of opportunity open, no matter how small it is, it is there and one might take any chance one gets when having to decide on life and death.