Breaking: Planet Earth is facing a climate emergency

Yvonne O'Halloran

Though this is something many of us have been aware of for a long time, 11,000 scientists from 153 nations have now warned “clearly and unequivocally that planet earth is facing a climate emergency”. The new study of how human activities have impacted the planet over the past four decades declares that harmful greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly rising, that governments are making insufficient progress in tackling the crisis, and that scientists have “a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat.

These warnings started 40 years ago at the 1st World Climate Conference in Geneva in 1979, the 1992 Rio Summit, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement. Yet despite warnings, very little has been done to address this global climate crisis and greenhouse gas emissions are still rising rapidly.

There is no time to lose, the scientists say: “The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected.”

These findings were published yesterday in the BioScience Journal and has found that despite 40 years of global climate negotiations, we have generally “conducted business as usual”. The climate crisis is more severe than many scientists predicted and threats the “natural eco systems and the fate of humanity.”

They outline some actions that must be taken now including:

  • Use energy far more efficiently and apply strong carbon taxes to cut fossil fuel use.
  • Stabilise global population – currently growing by 200,000 people a day.
  • End the destruction of nature and restore forests and mangroves to absorb CO2.
  • Eat mostly plants (less meat), and reduce food waste. This will reduce global consumption of animal products and will free up croplands for growing plant foods for humans instead of livestock feed.
  • Shift economic goals away from GDP growth.

World population, air transport, meat production and food wastage are all areas that need to be reduced in order to help our planet to recover so that earth will still be habitable for future generations. See the video below for a quick overview.

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