Climate leadership lacking



At the all-candidates forum in Roberts Creek last week, I asked a serious question but did not succeed in getting any of the six candidates present to diverge from his or her stock party line.

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The world’s top climate science organizations last month made a new report to the UN Climate Action Summit. It “highlights the urgent need for … concrete actions that halt global warming and the worst effects of climate change,” noting “a glaring – and growing – gap between agreed targets to tackle global warming and the actual reality.”

The report was coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization and “aims to present a ‘transparent envelope’ of authoritative and actionable cutting-edge science.” Among its stark facts is that we are on track as the warmest five consecutive years ever recorded, “currently estimated to be 1.1 C (± 0.1 C) above pre-industrial times.”

We need, said the scientists’ report, “both an acceleration in use of non-carbon energy sources and a rapid decline in fossil fuels… Limiting warming to 1.5 C is not physically impossible but would require unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society. There are clear benefits to keeping warming to 1.5 C compared to 2 C or higher. Every bit of warming matters.”

Liberal, NDP and Green Party representatives at the forum said their parties have agreed to a protocol which would see warming limited to 2 C by the year 2050! The scientists’ report states, “Global emissions are not estimated to peak by 2030, let alone by 2020, if current climate policies and ambition levels of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are maintained.”

Why are our political leaders dragging their feet at this most critical pass? Why are they ignoring the advice of the world’s best climate scientists?

Joan Robb, Roberts Creek

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