A recent report warns that human fossil fuel emissions are putting us on track to breach a critical climate threshold much sooner than anticipated. The report suggests that the world may breach the 1.5C limit by 2029, rather than the mid 2030s, due to record average emissions of carbon dioxide over the past three years. Scientists also attribute this trend to a better understanding of how the burning of fossil fuels affects the atmosphere.
The consequences of breaching this threshold are dire, including the loss of coral reefs, melting of ice sheets, and increased water shortages, heat waves, and extreme weather events. After a year of unprecedented heat, with the world’s hottest month recorded in July, temperatures for 2023 as a whole are expected to be close to 1.5C above the pre-industrial level, before the world first started heavily using coal, oil and gas around 1850. While this may be a one-off, scientists are concerned that we are fast approaching a point of no return, where the world will have emitted enough greenhouse gases to keep temperatures at this level for far longer.
It is critical that we act quickly to turn the tide on climate change and reduce our carbon footprint to avoid catastrophic consequences.
Greta Thunberg’s speeches and activism to raise global awareness around climate change are crucial. However, it is up to each one of us to take action and make a difference. The time to act is now! As Greta Thunberg rightly said, “No one is too small to make a difference.” We all have the power to make a positive impact on the environment and the world around us. By taking small steps like reducing our carbon footprint, conserving energy, and recycling, we can contribute to a better future for ourselves and generations to come.
Let’s take inspiration from Greta’s words and work together to create a sustainable and healthy planet.
"For 25 years countless of people have stood in front of the United Nations climate conferences, asking our nation’s leaders to stop the emissions. But, clearly, this has not worked since the emissions just continue to rise.
"So I will not ask them anything.
"Instead, I will ask the media to start treating the crisis as a crisis.
"Instead, I will ask the people around the world to realize that our political leaders have failed us.
"Because we are facing an existential threat and there is no time to continue down this road of madness.
"Rich countries like Sweden need to start reducing emissions by at least 15% every year to reach the 2 degree warming target. You would think the media and everyone of our leaders would be talking about nothing else — but no one ever even mentions it.
"Nor does hardly anyone ever talk about that we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, with up to 200 species going extinct every single day.
"Furthermore, does no one ever speak about the aspect of equity clearly stated everywhere in the Paris agreement, which is absolutely necessary to make it work on a global scale. That means that rich countries like mine need to get down to zero emissions, within 6–12 years with today's emission speed, so that people in poorer countries can heighten their standard of living by building some of the infrastructures that we have already built. Such as hospitals, electricity and clean drinking water.
"Because how can we expect countries like India, Colombia or Nigeria to care about the climate crisis if we, who already have everything, don’t care even a second about our actual commitments to the Paris agreement?
"So when school started in August this year I sat myself down on the ground outside the Swedish parliament. Our school striked for the climate.
"Some people say that I should be in school instead. Some people say that I should study to become a climate scientist so that I can “solve the climate crisis”. But the climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions.
"And why should I be studying for a future that soon may be no more, when no one is doing anything to save that future? And what is the point of learning facts when the most important facts clearly mean nothing to our society?
"Today we use 100 million barrels of oil every single day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground.
"So we can’t save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed.
"So we have not come here to beg the world leaders to care for our future. They have ignored us in the past and they will ignore us again.
We have come here to let them know that change is coming whether they like it or not.
"The people will rise to the challenge. And since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago." (source)