Last October, the IPCC, the UN body responsible for assessing the science relating to Climate Change and ‘translating’ it to governments, have released a special report. Although the topic is less contentious and widely accepted as a reality now, the report nonetheless stresses that man-made greenhouse gas emissions arethe main cause for Climate Change. More than that, its pace is dramatically intensifying and at current trends, we will reach the 1.5˚C increase of global temperatures above pre-industrial levels between 2030-2052.
More specifically, and for the first time, the IPCC scientists’ have acknowledged the dramatic difference that a 1.5˚C increase or a 2˚C increase in global temperatures would cause on the environment, humans and other animals. For example, in terms of biodiversity, a 2 ˚C difference, compared to a 1.5 ˚C increase, would double the rate of vertebrate extinction, significantly increase exposure to severe heatwaves, coastal flooding and water shortages -among other dramatic consequences. 2˚C therefore emerges as a point of non-return in the mitigation of the negative consequences of Climate Change.
Despite this deplorable news, there is still time to limit global temperature rise at the 1.5˚C level. However, this will require a drastic transition towards a less carbon intensive economy in all sectors.One might rejoice in thinking that the Paris COP21 in 2015 got countries to agree to limit the temperature rise at +1.5˚C-2˚C. But here’s the thing: despite these arguably wonderful declarations, no country has effectively implemented the appropriate tools to mitigate increasing GHG emissions, and this new report points out that the 2˚C level was in fact underestimating the consequences.
3 societies in Warwick -Climate Reality Campus Corps, Globus, Global Sustainable Development Society- decided altogether that, this is not enough, and we need to do much more to safeguard the planet’s future. Because tomorrow is today in our rapidly changing world, we have created a petition to involve present and future actors and victims of the climate crisis in the choice of the world they will live in: you. The idea is simple: getting the University to declare a state of Climate Emergency, to bind it towards being carbon neutral by 2030.
Yes, it is possible: Bristol has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030. If a city can do it, a University can too. Because we are tired of waiting to see the planet getting destroyed before our own eyes, and tired of pretending that everything is fine, we want everyone to get involved and take this opportunity to make a difference. If passed, this petition will impact present and future generations of students, and which will send a clear signal to the economy and society.
So, please sign this petition with us, and take the right steps to make our campus an environmental leader!
Camille d’Arjuzon runs Warwick CRCC as well as being an executive member of the Global Sustainable Development society