Has the direction of climate change been set?
Climate Change Impossible is not a fact, it’s an attitude, and momentum towards a climate-safe future is now unstoppable. We must avoid distraction: keep our eyes on the road to go further, faster, together.
"Driving down global emissions at the pace and scale required by science to fully decarbonize the global economy by 2050 means we must bend the curve by 2020 – in just a few years time. If we fail, we will breach the temperature limits outlined in the Paris agreement with severe social and economic impacts on everyone, making it practically impossible to reach most of the agreed Sustainable Development Goals.
We are already seeing shocking impacts of current warming in the Arctic and at the Great Barrier Reef, for which we bear a collective responsibility.
Left unabated, climate change will become much more shocking, and will adversely affect us all, especially the world’s most vulnerable.
The urgency and complexity of the challenge ahead gives me a laser focus. I’m on a mission to ensure that we do bend the curve by 2020 and lock in a climate-safe world. I will be working in a variety of roles, including as Vice-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, financial institutions and clean energy providers, to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and focus efforts on the wealth of opportunities to be reaped from a decarbonized economy.
A global, just transition to 100% renewable energy is possible. The transition will create millions of jobs, dramatically cut premature deaths as a result of air pollution per year, and save trillions of dollars in health costs.
"I am relentlessly optimistic."
- Christiana Figueres
I am also heartened by the current groundswell of awareness on climate and planet protection around the world, in which citizens are working to unblock obstacles and fast forward our climate-safe future. That future will bring development gains for all: better health, more energy and food security, increased energy access and more liveable cities. The next four years are going to be some of the most galvanizing and exciting yet in terms of climate action.
Working on climate change can be tiring, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Let us take heart in the indisputable fact that the direction of travel has been set. It has been set by science, by technological progress, by economics and by morality, and because of this overwhelming overlay of imperatives it is also set by the historic Paris agreement. Our path towards a healthy, climate-safe future is unstoppable. We must not allow ourselves to be distracted - we must stay focused: keep our eyes on the road and go further, faster, together".