The world is at risk of falling into a climate “fatal cycle”, warns a report by a group of experts.
The report says that simply dealing with the mounting impacts of the climate crisis could undo the fight against the root cause.
He said simply dealing with the growing impacts of the climate crisis could draw resources and divert attention from efforts to reduce carbon emissions, making the situation even worse.
The damage caused by global warming around the world is becoming increasingly clear, and climate disaster recovery already costs billions of dollars. Furthermore, these disasters can cause cascading problems, including water, food and energy crises, as well as increased migration and conflict, which deplete countries’ resources.
Is it still possible to keep the global temperature below 1.5°C?
The researchers, from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Chatham House, said a current example of the impact of the climate crisis complicating efforts to reduce emissions and other actions was the debate over whether to keep rising global temperatures. below 1.5°C. : the international goal – was still possible.
Those who argued that 1.5°C was still possible risked perpetuating the complacency that the current slow pace of action was sufficient, the researchers said, while those who argued that it was not risky supported the fatalism that it could now do little or ” extreme approaches” such as geoengineering.
Avoiding a “cycle of death” requires a more honest acceptance by politicians of the major risks posed by the climate crisis, the researchers said, including the imminent prospect of tipping points and the enormous scale of economic and social transformation needed to end the global warming. This needs to be combined with narratives that focus on the great benefits that climate action has brought and ensure that policies are implemented fairly.
A new chapter of the climate and ecological crisis towards a “fatal loop”
“Unfortunately, we have entered a new chapter in the climate and ecological crisis.said Laurie Laybourn, associate member of the IPPR. “The fake war is coming to an end and the real consequences now present us with difficult choices. We absolutely can walk towards a more sustainable and more equitable world. But our ability to navigate the shocks while focusing on avoiding the storm is critical.”.
He report said : “This is a fatal cycle: the consequences of the crisis [climática] divert attention and resources away from addressing their causes, leading to higher temperatures and ecological losses, which then create more serious consequences, diverting even more attention and resources, etc.“.
He noted that, for example, Africa’s economy was already losing up to 15% of GDP a year due to the worsening effects of global warming, cutting funding needed for climate action and emphasizing the need for support from developed countries, which most issue. carbon dioxide.
“What concerns me most is that we are not taking into account the cascading risks to societiessaid Laybourn. “It’s not just the storms that destroy big cities that we should be concerned about, it’s the consequences that ripple through our globalized systems.”.
“For the UK, it may not necessarily be the full cost of disaster response that is the biggest distraction. He may have to deal with a food price shock and a resurgence of nativism at the same time, allaying fears about so-called climate refugees.’ he added.
Injustice in climate policy
Laybourn said the narratives used to describe the situation are very important. For example, he said, greener transport wasn’t just about switching to electric vehicles, but better public transport and redesigned cities that meant people were closer to the jobs, education and health care they needed. This, in turn, meant reassessing local authority budgets and taxes to implement change.
Injustice in climate policy can lead to the vicious cycle of this “fatal loop”, Laybourn said, because if people felt that unaffordable changes were being forced upon them, they would reject the need for a green transition. However, he added:If fairness is the essence of things, it can be a virtuous circle, if you find yourself in a situation where people recognize that switching to a heat pump and having better insulation will be better for them, regardless of the climate crisis”.
It was also crucial to make progress on climate action resilient to the difficulties posed by climate impacts. “I’m a big fan of citizens’ assemblies, because if people feel they have a role in decision-making, they’re more likely to continue to do so, even in the future when shocks start to mount. They become moments we really rebuild better” Laybourn said, contrary to the 2008 accident and the Covid pandemic.
Do not abandon the 1.5°C target
Bob Ward from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics said: “This report rightly highlights the tipping point we have reached, namely the increasing likelihood that global temperatures will rise by more than 1.5°C. This does not mean that we should abandon the objective.“.
“Our main objective must remain radical emission cuts to try to avoid exceeding 1.5°C, but now we must also consider what happens if we continue to fail“.
“This means temperatures will drop again. [y] we will have to invest in geoengineering options such as carbon dioxide removal and even solar radiation management. But it also means we’ll have to spend a lot more to deal with the damage. [climáticos]what will make the transition to a sustainable, inclusive and resilient world more difficult”.