‘THE bottom line is we’re in trouble’. This was the harrowing statement by US climate envoy John Kerry.
Just six months on from COP26 in Glasgow, promises and commitments made by the world’s leaders lie in tatters.
Regular readers of this column are familiar with the need to restrict global warming to less than 1.5C by the end of this century.
That’s 78 years away. According to a UN report, the world is on track to warm by 3.2C this century.
BIG TROUBLE FOR PLANET EARTH
The consequences of our collective inaction will result in unprecedented heatwaves, widespread water shortages, terrifying storms, death and destruction of human life and nature.
When COP26 President Alok Sharma closed the gathering in Glasgow, he claimed the conference was a ‘fragile win’ for the world. Fragile means easily breakable.
The agreed target was to keep warming to a maximum of 1.5C by 2100.
The United Kingdom’s Met Office researchers say that it is a 50/50 chance that the world will warm by more than 1.5C in the next 5 years!
Let me lighten the mood for a moment.
‘WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG?’
A famous and humorous quotation popularised by an incident involving George Best (the most famous footballer in the 1970s)
In 1973 a waiter was delivering champagne and caviar to a hotel room.He opens the door to see George Best lying on the bed with his girlfriend (the then current Miss World), surrounded by piles of cash he had won in the casino the previous night. The newspapers of the time were focusing on his drop in form on the pitch. The waiter, seeing his idol surrounded by empty champagne bottles, cash and Miss World asked..
“So, Bestie, where did it all go wrong ?”
Sadly the reasons for our climate’s destruction are not funny.
The reasons for governments inaction are many.
Vladimir Putin’s insane invasion of Ukraine has led to disruption in global fossil fuel supplies. This is good news long term for the world, as it has accelerated plans to deploy more renewable energy – wind , solar etc., much faster than originally planned. But it is bad news in the short term as we return to increased use of coal and gas to fuel our energy hungry way of life. It’s sad to see some countries placing higher importance on securing alternatives to Russian oil and gas supplies than reducing carbon emissions.
NOT ENOUGH FINANCIAL SUPPORT
In 2021, developed countries committed to $100 billion of annual aid to help fight carbon emissions.
Apart from my own view that this is nowhere near enough (too little too late), the UK government recently stated that this will not be achieved in 2022 but it was confident the target would be hit by 2023.
Talk about kicking the problem down the road…
Developing countries, without necessary investment, continue to harm the world’s environment.
India is a prime example.
Desperate to grow its economy, demand continues to surge. Coal India, the world’s largest coal miner, has increased production by more than 15% and it’s still not enough to supply local demand. Power outages are regular.
Earlier than expected, searing heatwaves in April (global warming….no surprise) pushed up demand for electricity to record levels. How is the electricity produced? COAL.
What does burning coal do ? DESTROYS THE ENVIRONMENT. (India’s coal is high in ash – 35% more, which makes it highly polluting.)
Some100,000 Indians die every year through coal emissions according to Greenpeace.
GOVERNMENTS FINANCIAL PRIORITIES HAVE CHANGED
Sad but true. As the world faces the absurd actions of the lunatic Putin, finances have had to be diverted to funding an unnecessary war effort. This avoidable, futile and needless war results in killing not only human life, but also the environment.
Martin Tye is the owner of energy switch company Mariposa Energy. Contact him on +34 638145664 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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