- Today the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) launched a report, signed off by 195 governments, that tells us the climate crisis is unfolding more rapidly and more violently than previously projected. It is a stark warning that continuing to support the fossil fuel industry puts humankind on a collision course with nature sooner than previously anticipated.
The impacts of the climate crisis are already being experienced around the world – this year alone we have experienced devastating and record-breaking droughts, flooding, wildfires and cyclones. If we don’t take urgent action to transition away from fossil fuels, we risk a rapid escalation in the kinds of deadly impacts we are already experiencing, and risk causing irreparable harm to vital life support systems.
For decades fossil fuel companies have known that continuing to burn coal, oil and gas would eventually cause irreversible and deadly climate impacts. They must be held accountable for the role they have played in this crisis. Meanwhile governments and financial institutions must end their support for an industry that is doing all it can to maintain a status quo that has put us on a path to climate breakdown.
The IPCC are showing us that the mid-century net zero pledges being loudly celebrated by governments, businesses and oil companies are not going to be enough to change this trajectory. We need decisive action within this decade, if we want to have a chance to keep the planet from warming above 1.5C. Today’s report shows that we must urgently phase out fossil fuels, provide workers with green and sustainable jobs, and deliver financial support for impacted communities as a top priority.
As governments prepare to meet in Glasgow for the COP26 climate talks, they need to recognize that no climate plan that does not include phasing out fossil fuels is a real climate plan.