So What Do We Really Need to Do to Reduce the COsmic Carbon Footprints? The Case for Renewable Energy and High-Temperature Climate Change
Transitioning to renewables is sound economic policy with a host of co-benefits. In the United States, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into the green economy, and it has already created 75,000 jobs, by one estimate. Reducing health care costs is possible by burning less fossil fuel. So just do it already. Anne Olhoff, chief scientific editor of the report, says that it shows us that it’s possible. “There’s no good reason not to do this. And I think that most countries and decisionmakers are running out of good reasons for not doing so.”
In the wrong direction, humanity is barreling. Unless nations get serious about increasing their ambitions, the world is on track to wildly overshoot the Paris goals, warming somewhere between 2.5 and 2.9 degrees Celsius, the report notes. It would be terrible, given the fact that we are already seeing effects at 1.1 degrees of warming, and considering that merely fractions of a degree add to the pain. This September was on average 1.8 degrees hotter than pre-industrial times, smashing the month’s previous record by 0.5 degrees. The Paris Agreement states that the temperature should not top 1.5 degrees Centigrade, not monthly records, since that refers to sustained temperatures.
The World Resources Institute is an environmental think tank in Washington DC who tracks climate trends and says governments need to be clear-eyed about this lackluster progress so that they can jump start an urgent course correction.