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6 Climate Takeaways for Earth Day 2022
This month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations released a new report detailing the biggest climate concerns for countries all over the world. Some of the report’s main conclusions centered around steadily rising emissions and continued global warming, which will have a catastrophic impact on our climate if levels continue to increase.
Syracuse University assistant professor and hydrology expert Sam Tuttle provides six takeaways from the report that he views as the most important elements ahead of Earth Day (April 22). He is available for future interviews and questions.
Professor Tuttle says:
- We know what needs to be done – we just have to do it. The technology is available to reduce global carbon emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change.
- We have to move very fast if we are to avoid major climate-related impacts. The report says that we must massively cut down on fossil fuel use by 2030 in order to keep warming below the commonly accepted 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial temperature, which will allow us to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Global carbon emissions have not slowed in the past 10 years. We no longer have the luxury of trying to make incremental changes. We need transformational change, and we need it as soon as possible.
- Climate change is impacting everyone. Wealthy countries are responsible for a majority of carbons emissions, but developing countries will suffer the most from future climate change.
- Change must come from all levels, including the top. Individual actions are not enough to make the necessary change at this point. We also need changes to infrastructure, which needs to come from government policies and initiatives, as well as businesses. It will not be cheap nor easy to change our energy infrastructure, but we need governments to act, and boldly!
- However, there does not seem to be a political will nor urgency to do what is needed to reduce carbon emissions. Current climate commitments made by countries generally fall well short of what is needed, and it seems like most countries are not meeting even their modest goals.
- Every little bit counts! The sooner we reduce emissions, the better for our future. Even if we miss the 1.5 degrees C target, our safest future is with as little global warming as possible. There is no future date where it’s no longer worth it to reduce carbon emissions. We need to do as much as we can, as soon as we can!
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