We Have 2 Years To Save The Planet, Says U.N. Climate Chief 

Source: Simon Stiell

“Climate change will end us all!” For decades, we’ve heard different experts tell the public to change their ways or there won’t be an Earth for their children. Well, it seems the danger is much closer than we thought. 

Governments, business leaders, and development banks claim that they have less than ten years to prevent climate change from getting worse. These establishments held a meeting where the leaders talked about the impending doom and their plans to fix it.

We’re Running Out Of Time

During their meeting, they cited the opinions of leading scientists on climate change. These professionals recommend that companies worldwide work towards halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Source: X/WashTimes

That’s roughly six years away. What happens if we don’t? Well, unfortunately, Earth’s temperature will rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius, which will unleash extreme horrors on the planet,

‘It’s Just 1.5 Degrees’

Many social media comments seem to see 1.5 degrees as a small change in temperature. But in reality, it is not. This “minor” change can disrupt ecosystems and create extreme weather events.

Source: X/jack_havran

With the planet warming by 1.5 degrees, we can expect droughts, wildfires, and heatwaves. We could also lose our biodiversity as coral reefs and ice caps get destroyed. It won’t be a fun time for humanity.

Our Efforts Aren’t Enough

The meeting revealed that there was a previous effort to combat the toxic gasses. Sadly, we couldn’t keep up as these emissions reached an all-time high in 2023. They’re so bad that the current plan won’t be able to cut global emissions down by 2030.

Source: X/Reuters

Does this mean humanity is doomed? Not quite. The committee called this meeting to establish a new way to secure our future.

‘We Still Have A Chance’

Despite the gloomy subject, leaders in the committee were hopeful. One of these people was Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Source: X/BuildResilient_

He emphasized that the next two years are “essential in saving our planet”. So, “We still have a chance to make greenhouse gas emissions tumble, with a new generation of national climate plans. But we need these stronger plans, now.”

They’re Targeting The Biggest Contributors

Stiell is not going to place unrealistic demands on everyone. He has his eyes set on the main culprits. Precisely, he’s after the group of 20 economic powers that combine to produce about 80% of global emissions.

Source: X/BigShineEnergy

He’s urged them to “step up” because they’re mainly responsible for damaging the planet. But who are these powers? Are they companies, cities, or individuals?

The Group of 20 (G20)

Stiell wasn’t referring to 20 companies, but countries. The Group of 20 (G20) consists of 19 countries including Russia, China, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom. They are responsible for almost all the greenhouse gases destroying the Earth.

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It’s worth pointing out that these countries have made efforts to tackle global warming. However, it seems insufficient as there’s very little time.

A New Plan

While Stiell calls out the world’s biggest gas emitters, the U.N. is hatching out a plan to address the short time left. They are making climate negotiations to create a new target for climate finance. 

Source: Reuters/Amr Alfiky

This money will go to support developing countries and help them shift away from fossil fuels. It’s one of its additional efforts to fight climate change from all corners.

Where’s The Money Coming From?

So where’s the extra cash going to come from? Stiella answers this question.

Source: X/simonstiell

He stated that financing would come through debt relief and cheaper financing for third-world countries.  There will be a tax on shipping emissions so “gas-guzzlers” can at least contribute to the planet’s repairs just as much as they damage it.

‘It’s Time To Shift Those Dollars’

Stiell gave further comments on the new financing plans. “Every day finance ministers, CEOs, investors, climate bankers, and development bankers direct trillions of dollars. It’s time to shift those dollars.”

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Stiell also pushed for a complete overhaul of the capital requirements plus an expansion of the use of Climate Resilient Debt Clauses. Note that these Clauses suspend debt repayments whenever a natural disaster occurs.

Politicians Have Ignored Climate Change

Stiell also pointed out that politicians have pushed climate change matters aside. This got much worse because of the coming elections in different parts of the world. However, Stiell points out that climate actions are always “slipping down cabinet agendas.”

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What’s more unfortunate is that this apathy is shared by all politicians. From the Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, to the Democrat leader, Joe Biden. They seem to have sidelined the planet’s future.

We’re Already Seeing The Effects Of Climate Change

Climate change seems like a distant threat, but it’s already making its mark. Recently, parts of the Amazon River dried up, leaving the indigenous people to drink dirty water. But the saddest part is the death of the river dolphins.

Source: X/dorotheedillon

The Amazon River is home to the rare pink dolphins. Sadly, researchers found at least 125 carcasses of these animals floating or beached. The cause was the rise in temperature, the water reached a staggering 39.1 degrees Celsius. They were slowly boiled alive.

Can We Fix Things?

It makes sense to wonder whether human effort will have any impact, considering the size of the planet. The answer is yes, and we’ve done it before. A good example is the Montreal Protocol which aimed to protect the ozone layer.

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This came after we discovered a hole in our protective cover. So, different governments agreed to ban the chemical(s) causing the tear. Shortly, the hole shrank and officially closed in 2033.

Global Warming Predictions

Experts have concluded Earth will warm up by 1.5 degrees Celsius and then 2.5 degrees by the end of the century. At this point, life will become extra difficult. The ice caps will melt, vegetation will struggle to grow, and heat strokes will be the new norm.

Source: X/MarioNawfal

However, this is beyond the power of regular folks. That’s why Stiell called out the 20 biggest contributors and demanded that they step up and handle the situation.

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Mary Scrantin

Written by Mary Scrantin

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