Paris Climate Accord – adopted, December 2015, signed April, 2016, took effect, November, 2016
- Sets goal of preventing an increase of more than 2C degrees in average global temperature above the pre-industrial baseline.
- Signed and ratified by 185 nations as of September, 2018.
- Signatories pledge to the voluntary limits and/or emissions reductions they pledge to achieve by 2025 or 2030, with a specific target set for 2020.
President Trump announces US withdrawal from Paris Accord – June, 2017
From the Special Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the UN – October, 2018
- Damaging effects of climate change occurring much more rapidly than anticipated.
- Warns that preventing an increase of more than 1.5 C degrees of average global temperature is essential to avoid a global climate catastrophe before the end of the century.
- 50% reduction of net carbon emissions needed by 2030, and net zero emissions by 2050.
- Unprecedented systemic changes to accomplish this are economically and technologically possible but politically and societally problematic.
From Rainforest Action’s Report “Banking on Climate Change” – March 2019
- Between 2016 and 2018, the world’s 30 largest banks provided the fossil fuel industries with more than $1.9 trillion in financing.
- JPMorgan Chase provided the most, followed by Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citibank.
From Falter, by Bill McKibben (co-founder of 350.org ), published in April, 2019
Earth’s surface that can support human societies is shrinking and will continue to shrink.
- Without strong action, “aridification” over 20 to 30 percent of the land is predicted by 2050.
- At temperatures over 95 F degrees and humidity of over 90%, the body cannot cool itself and humans can only survive for a few hours. Without strong action, regions that now have one day a year of truly oppressive heat can expect 100 to 250 such days by 2070, and by 2100 almost half the world’s people may face potentially deadly heat for more than 20 days a year.
- The acidity of oceans has already increased by 30% since the industrial revolution; at current rates, by 2100 ocean acidity may well exceed what most fish and phytoplankton can tolerate.
From the London School of Economics, Columbia University, and Potsdam Institute – September, 2019
Economists’ assessments grossly under-estimate or omit the future risks of climate change.
- Impacts of extremes of heat, drought and storms, destabilization of ice sheets, and eco-system collapse will take place not in isolation but concurrently.
- Economic assessments fail to account for the potential of mass displacement, migration, and violent conflict, with huge loss of life.
From Climate Central’s Report on Sea Level Rise – October, 2019
Improved measures of global elevation reveal that coastal elevations are significantly lower than previously understood across wide areas.
- By 2050 rising sea levels could push chronic floods higher than land now home to more than300 million people, and by 2100 areas now home to more than 200 million people could fall permanently below the high tide line.
- The threat is concentrated in coastal Asia, including the Mekong Delta, much of Bangladesh, the Persian Gulf, and the cities of Bangkok, Mumbai, and Shanghai, and will have profound economic and political consequences within the lifetimes of people alive today.
President Trump formalizes US withdrawal from Paris Accord – November, 2019, effective November 4, 2020
President Biden rejoins the Paris Climate Accord – January 21, 2021. What’s next? How can we help?