Two decades after the Rio Earth Summit, greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever driving warmer temperatures that will raise sea levels and trigger extreme weather events without urgent action. The effects on our environment and on the lives of billions of people will be devastated.
Current pledges by the big emitting countries to cut carbon beyond 2020, even if met, will not be enough to limit the global temperature rise to a safe level. We need to act much faster. Fighting climate change will require political will and lifestyle changes, including overhaul of energy and transport systems, but the solutions are right in front of us.
We should be spending much less supporting dirty fuels like coal and oil, and much more on clean energy like solar and wind governments worldwide spend 600 billion dollars a year. Subsidizing fossil fuels some 200 billion of that in developed and emerging economies.
That’s. Five times the amount spent supporting clean energy and more than five times the amount of rich nations have promised to help poor countries tackle climate change. We spend just a few billion dollars a year on research into green energy technology, yet every dollar spent now on clean energy could generate three dollars in fuel savings by 2050 to shift to a low-carbon world.
We should also be investing 1 trillion dollars a year globally. In green infrastructure, we’re at two hundred and fifty billion dollars. Shifting all energy investment into low-carbon options would raise costs by 10 percent, a small price compared to the potential cost to the planet of inaction.
The OECD has called for zero net emissions by the end of the century. That means global emissions should peak before 2030. The share of fossil fuels in our energy supply is stuck at 81 percent, and greenhouse emissions are rising around two percent a year.
The u.s. France and Mexico are moving towards cleaner energy. Korea has begun an emissions trading system and China is working on one. India and Indonesia are phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, but globally we & # 39.
Ve barely started, many of our tax trade, land-use and investment policies still stand in the way of climate action. It’s time to align our policies for a low-carbon economy, to invest less in fossil fuels and more in clean energy to put a price on carbon everywhere.
It’s time to act.