Statement on the IPCC Synthesis Report
We are approaching the point of no return in the climate crisis. In 2019, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were higher by 12% compared to 2010 and 54% higher than in 1990. Much of this comes from our continued use of fossil fuels, even as prices of fossil fuels skyrocket, triggering inflation and economic hardship for most people, and even as the most vulnerable sectors already disproportionately suffer from the effects of climate change.
This synthesis report takes every excuse to keep burning fossil fuels down the drain. Any company, any government that promotes new coal, gas, or other fossil fuel projects are dealing a death sentence to the 1.5°C global warming threshold and the survival of millions. Science is clear: the only option we have is to urgently shift to energy from renewables, which is now cheaper than ever. Yet the transition we need is not happening fast enough; in fact, many developed nations are even seeking to prolong the life of fossil fuels through unproven or detrimental technologies falsely labeled as solutions.
All modeled pathways show that even in the most optimistic scenario, we will barely reach the 1.5°C goal with limited or no overshoot. But leaving fate to any scenario other than the most optimistic means that we will miss our goal and create a future of endless catastrophe, a future of irreparable and irreversible destruction especially for the most vulnerable peoples and communities. This is true in and beyond climate-related impacts: the oil spill in the globally significant Verde Island Passage, our Amazon of the oceans, is living proof of the havoc that fossil fuels directly wreak over biodiversity and people.
This catastrophic future will happen sooner than later – it will be a doom we will experience for the rest of our lifetimes, a doom we will then leave to our children. It is time to move – end fossil fuel use NOW.
Gerry Arances, Executive Director, CEED