Climate change is here. The science shows that man-made climate change is increasing the likelihood and severity of extreme weather events such as heatwaves, flooding, forest fires, and droughts. It’s difficult to link individual weather events to rising temperatures, but the overall pattern is incontrovertible.

Things are going to get worse. Global temperatures are on course to rise by at least 2°C in the coming decades, and could surge to twice that without significant action. The forecasts are grim, and the difference between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees would be significant, yet it would take much stronger and bolder action from governments, industry, and individuals to limit warming to the lower number.

What do our readers think? We had a comment sent in from Vera, who thinks Europe is doing a (relatively) good job when it comes to climate change, but that the world as a whole could be doing much more.

To get a response, we put Vera’s comment to Leena Ylä-Mononen, Director General at Finland’s Ministry of the Environment. What would she say?

For another perspective, we also put the same comment to Mark Fulton, Head of Research Council at the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a think tank that researches the impact of the energy transition on financial markets.

Should climate action be bolder and faster? Is the international community on track to prevent catastrophic climate change? Or should we be doing more? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below!

IMAGE CREDITS: (c) BigStock – ChiccoDodiFC


7 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Catherine Benning

    Should climate action be bolder and faster?

    Be specific. In which way do you intend to take action and how bold is that going to be? What is the planned outcome for this action and its boldness? How much is it going to cost the tax payers. And, when will you start taking the money to put it all into motion? Then, how long will you hold onto the coffered funds before you begin with the plan to avert, whatever it is you believe you can achieve? In other words, will the tax revenue be assured by a legal contract that it will solely be used to take this ‘specific bolder and non declared, fast action and not be siphoned off for other ‘more important’ or ‘less important’ matters?

    Will there be any guarantees regarding this action made by the rulers and decision makers to the European population paying for it? And if so, when?

  2. avatar
    Yannick

    Duh. We say we are in a crisis but we are not acting upon it. From a scientific perspective, we are beyond safety thresholds and we have been for many years (the Planetary Boundaries paper set that threshold at 350ppm; whereas up to 450ppm we are in a uncertainty zone i.e. the climate could pass a tipping point and cascade into collapse). This is not a joke. If you know the lily pond parable, we are at day -1 when the pond is still half full, wondering whether things are still ok. They are not, because we are facing exponential effects. Some researchers claim it is already too late because we have failed to account for these cascading effects, and we must work to rebalance the climate back on a sustainable path (see the Hothouse Earth paper https://www.pnas.org/content/115/33/8252 ).
    In practice this should mean putting a break on all unnecessary carbon consumption and offsetting the rest. Single commuter car drivers should all be grounded, cycling we can. Flights should be replaced by video conferencing or taxed 500%. And most importantly, oil companies should be forced – at minimum – to come up with a plan that meets the 1.5 Paris agreement. Currently their plan is to continue exploitation far beyond 2050. If we add up the numbers, it simply means doom. Then finally we must seriously look and invest – sadly – into the technical fix: how do we air cool the planet? It will be needed, simply because we waited too long. Oil companies should therefore be forced to put back into the ground (with CCS or similar) the carbon they pumped out or plan to pump out as a condition for continuing business.
    In practice it also means pointing the finger at the source of the problem. The oil and gas industry has been very strong in framing the problem as a consumer problem, with them only supplying demand. This is not ok and nothing can change if change is not done at a system level. Consumers have no or little power to dictate change as individuals, it requires collective action, and therefore it requires governmental action. So yes, action should be bolder and faster.
    We have still a window of opportunity to address the problem collectively, before climate wars unfold, and it could degenerate within the next decade or earlier (see Bendell’s contentious paper on Deep Adaptation): “It is time we consider the implications of it being too late to avert a global environmental catastrophe in the lifetimes of people alive today. The evidence before us suggests that we are set for disruptive and uncontrollable levels of climate change, bringing starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war in the near-term. Recent research suggests that human societies will experience disruptions to their basic functioning within less than ten years due to climate stress.”

  3. avatar
    Maria

    First study. Dont panic. First of all, forget about taxes. Think about China and India and do something there.

  4. avatar
    Olivier

    The main problem is Asia Africa and usa

  5. avatar
    Marleen

    Absolutely! climate change is the biggest challenge of our time and we’re just not acting fast enough. The global strikes have shown that people want change and there are more and more people changing their lifestyles to live eco-friendly. Politics needs to take first of all the 11,000 scientists seriously about the danger that climate change proves and secondly also the people all over the world that demand change – climate change mitigation policies (phasing out fossil fuels, carbon offset measures) should be at the very core of our policies. I really really hope that the EU recognises its potential in leading these changes and that von der Leyen’s Green Deal isnt just the usual empty promises. We need action and we need it now!

  6. avatar
    José

    faster than you al fight politician corruption? no

  7. avatar
    Manuel

    no need…
    just go blaming the chinese..

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