we can no longer avoid the worst of global warming

“There is no possible way to keep global warming at 1.5ºC”. This is the warning launched by a group of 1,000 scientists on Thursday. “It is untenable to continue this public discourse,” they said. open letterborderline to prevent the worst consequences of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

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This goal is the ideal limit. Outlined in the Paris Agreement against climate change, It will require a reduction of current emissions by more than 43% by 2030. An eight-year period. The forecast is for emissions to increase by 1% this year. And the best version of countries’ climate plans will reduce gas emissions by 0.3% in 2030 compared to 2019. Causes the world to warm by 2.5ºCAccording to UN assessment. If we add in the strategies to barely release CO2 in the world, 2050 models predict a warming of 1.8ºC by 2100.

This group of scientists, brought together by the Scientific Rebellion collective, thinks maintaining the 1.5ºC public discourse “makes it easier for governments and industries to resist decarbonisation.” “It allows them to continue the illusion that we’re going to save ourselves, thanks to technology and the idea of ​​net zero emissions,” says astrophysicist Elena González Egea. “This prevents any real migration to another system.”

Maintaining the 1.5ºC rhetoric allows us to continue the illusion that we will save ourselves through technology and the idea of ​​net zero emissions.

Elena González Egea PhD in Astrophysics

In this sense, another of the signatories, Bill McGuire, professor emeritus of geophysics and climatic risks at University College London, insists that “giving the impression that we are in time to limit warming to 1.5ºC gives politicians and polluters an excuse to continue.” pollutes”. They think that when “failure” is accepted, they may face the “difficulty of leaving the extra heat below 2ºC”.

This 1.5ºC target is included in the Paris Agreement as less evil. In fact, the UN Panel of Experts was tasked with producing a special report on the differences between the effects of a globally warmer 2ºC Earth and another Earth that is limited to 1.5ºC warming.. The study, which appeared in 2018, identified a range of extra damage if the heat rose above this threshold..

The idea that there is still time to achieve this goal dominated the Climate Summit in Glasgow last year. 2021 was the year with the highest human-induced CO2 emissions in history. The chairman of the conference, British Alok Sharma, finally stated: “We kept 1.5 ºC alive but her pulse is weak”. In the light of the analyzes of the countries’ plans, the patient did not recover.

As scientists, we must tell the truth and not be patriarchal. Society can accept the truth, and we must treat you with dignity and respect.

Elena Gonzalez

Javier Andaluz, responsible for climate change at Ecologistas en Acción, said: “On the one hand, we share the idea that governments are not doing enough. Emissions are pushing us to exceed the 1.5 threshold. We also share criticism of the rhetoric that a technology will seem to save us.”

But at the same time, Andaluz said that it is essential to “maintain the maximum temperature of 1.5ºC as a goal, because that will be the horizon on which countries’ actions should be judged and evaluated. If it is eliminated it will be analyzed against the 2ºC limit and may lead to the false perception that there is time, that we are not so bad after all”.

This threshold will be crossed at some point, but removing emissions by 2050 will give ecosystems time to rebalance the climate by the end of the century.

Javier Andaluz, responsible for climate change at Ecologistas en Acción

Does it cause immobility?

Astrophysicist Elena González admits that they “considered” whether a message with these properties could have an undesirable effect: it could lead to discouragement and therefore inaction. “We reviewed that it was the other way around,” she says. “And if anything, very positive messages did not reach the goal of effective action.” Add.

Meanwhile, the UN insisted that “every fraction of a degree saves lives”. Antonio Guterres, the organization’s general secretary, did. on learning to assess impacts and vulnerability to the climate crisis. “We have to try because every fraction counts,” said Inger Andersen, head of the United Nations Environment Programme, on Thursday.

Javier Andaluz, “21. He reminds us that the goal at the end of the century is to limit global warming to 1.5ºC. It is clear that this threshold will be crossed at some point, but if emissions are eliminated by 2050, it will give ecosystems time to rebalance the climate.”

But Elena González insists: “As scientists, we must tell the truth and not be patriarchal. Society can accept the truth, and we must treat it with dignity and respect.”

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