The alarm has been ringing for a long time urging climate action; turning a deaf ear to the crisis will lead us to the ‘point of no return’, a new study shows.
Research scientists in the UK and the Netherlands have been calculating exactly when deadline day is for limiting global warming below the 1.5°C to 2°C targets of the Paris agreement. They say unless governments ‘act decisively’ by 2035 ‘humanity could cross a point of no return’ where achieving the 2°C goal by 2100 would be ‘unlikely’.
“The ‘point of no return’ concept has the advantage of containing time information, which we consider very useful to inform the debate on the urgency of taking climate action,” says Matthias Aengenheyster, a doctoral researcher at Oxford University and the study’s lead author.
In a study published today in the European Geosciences Union journal Earth System Dynamics, the climate models used by the researchers show that ‘assuming we could increase the share of renewable energy by 2% every year, we would have to start doing so before 2035 (the point of no return)’. If we were to reduce emissions at a faster rate, by increasing the share of renewable energy by 5% each year, we would buy another 10 years’.
“We hope that ‘having a deadline’ may stimulate the sense of urgency to act for politicians and policy makers. Very little time is left to achieve the Paris targets,” added Henk Dijkstra, a professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
You can lobby your government to accelerate their support for clean power projects, while businesses can contribute by signing up to initiatives like Climate Neutral Now.