No corner of the globe is immune to the devastating consequences of climate change. It is the defining crisis of our time, and it is happening even more quickly than we feared. But we are far from powerless in the face of this global threat.

My personal vision is to motivate people to think and act in a more sustainable way so that we and especially our children and the future generations, don’t need to live on a dying planet with a broken, not regenerable system.

Only if we act quickly and consistently can we limit global warming, halt the mass extinction of animal and plant species, preserve the natural basis for life and win a future worth living for the present and future generations.

As the infinite cost of climate change reaches irreversible highs, now is the time for bold collective action. The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we need to win.

Fight against climate change

 

What is happening?

 

2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 were the five warmest years worldwide since the beginning of weather records in 1880. 2020, which is on track to be one of the three warmest years, will make this decade the warmest decade on record.  This has obviously tremendous aftereffects. Natural disasters and their consequences increase to a massive extent. No continent is left untouched, with heatwaves, droughts, typhoons, and hurricanes causing mass destruction around the world. 90 percent of disasters are now classed as weather- and climate-related, costing the world economy 520 billion USD each year, while 26 million people are pushed into poverty as a result.

We are currently losing, by factor 100, faster animal species than ever before. We are extinguishing entire habitats like coral reefs, and biologists even proclaim mass extinction, like it was 66 million years ago, when an asteroid of the size of a megacity hit the earth.

All that just happened due to the rise of global warming of 1°C. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change of 2015 obligates states under international law to keep global warming well below 2° C. In addition, all countries have pledged efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

co2 clock 2020

If we follow this goal of 1.5°C, you can calculate the amount of CO2 left which humanity can still use before exceeding this level. This amount is fixed and shall not be surpassed. The velocity on how fast we use the capacity left in the atmosphere is our choice. If we continue at this current rate, without adjustments, we will have around 7 years left.

 

 

What are the consequences?

 

Science is in agreement that the temperature must not exceed 1.5°C, let alone 2°C., Because if we do, we will be pushed into an unstoppable endless spiral, in which it keeps getting hotter and hotter, no matter what we do. This then will be irreversible, and to the point, one can say we have destroyed our planet. The life of our children, our grandchildren, and all the future generations will not be the same, and they will never know our planet, earth, as we do now.

Climate change is a major threat to international peace and security. The effects of climate change heighten competition for resources such as land, food, and water, fueling socio-economic tensions and, increasingly often, leading to mass displacement.

Climate is a risk multiplier that makes worse already existing challenges. Droughts in Africa and Latin America directly feed into political unrest and violence. The World Bank estimates that, in the absence of action, more than 140 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia will be forced to migrate within their regions by 2050.

Mass extinction, as mentioned, is definite. But not only for the animals also human life will be changed by that, but infectious diseases and allergies will also be a lot more common.

green city

 

What can we do?

 

We humans need to change or at least adapt our behaviour. It is not only something nice to do or a trend but a necessity for everyone to act in a sustainable matter. Using more public transportation, changing the way we eat, stopping to flash money to the fashion industry, and keep buying stuff we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.

It is now important to reduce the net emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases quickly and reduce them to zero at the latest worldwide between 2040 and 2050. Faster lowering increases the likelihood of reaching 1.5°C. The burning of coal should be almost completed by 2030, and the burning of oil and natural gas reduced simultaneously until climate-neutral energy sources have replaced all fossil fuels. Matching demand with supply at low cost among 20 world regions with 100% intermittent wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) for all purposes would cost us the same or even be cheaper than currently. Taking global climate justice into account, this change would have to be even faster in Europe.

This will require fundamental transformations in all aspects of society — how we grow food, use the land, transport goods, and power our economies.

While technology has contributed to climate change, new and efficient technologies can help us reduce net emissions and create a cleaner world. In many places, renewable energy is now the cheapest energy source and electric cars are poised to become mainstream.

Readily available technological solutions already exist for more than 70 percent of today’s emissions. ICT is a central pillar in the response to climate change. For instance, Prime Computer develops sustainable IT solutions and services built on foundations of greater environmental and social sustainability.

The future of global development should be driven by connectivity and the spread of ideas, information, and innovation. Unfortunately, too many people still lack internet and telecommunications access but the ICT sector is committed to expanding access so that by 2030, 2.5 billion more people have access to mobile health, distance learning, and the full array of benefits that connectivity can provide.

To accelerate this, politicians, in the first place, are responsible for creating the necessary framework conditions in a timely manner. In particular, climate-friendly and sustainable action must become simple and cost-effective, while climate-damaging action must become unattractive and expensive (e.g., through effective CO2 prices, cessation of subsidies for climate-damaging actions and products, efficiency regulations, and social innovations).

UN sustainable development goals

Conclusion

 

We are facing a difficult time. The last 6 years have been the hottest ones recorded and the global temperature will continue to rise. The question is how fast we can act to stay below the limit of max 2°C. Everyone is in demand to do more for future generations.
Scalable new technologies and nature-based solutions will enable us all to leapfrog to a cleaner, more resilient world. If governments, businesses, civil society, youth, and academia work together, we can create a green future where suffering is diminished, justice is upheld, and harmony is restored between people and the planet.

It is still not too late, but we need to act now – as we need to win this race!

Nachhaltigkeit

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