The world has only six months in which to change the course of the climate crisis and prevent a post-lockdown rebound in greenhouse gas emissions that would overwhelm efforts to stave off climate catastrophe, one of the world’s foremost energy experts has warned.
“This year is the last time we have, if we are not to see a carbon rebound,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency.
The argument that we’ve got to do it all now does keep getting repeated. My own view – prejudice perhaps, based upon experience of how the political world works – is that the catastrophists realise they’re rumbled. Which is why the cries become ever more shrill. It all started out as let’s avoid 3 oC – OK, we can do that by a tweak or two to the system. But, but, we want to kill industrial capitalism, so, we’ll argue for 2 oC as the target. There, Hah! Hmm, well, yes, we can manage that with another tweak or two. We’ve already started fracking so that entirely rules out RCP 8.5 anyway. Solar and wind have got vastly cheaper, so we’re on RCP 4.0 maybe.
But, but, we want to kill industrial capitalism! So, 1.5 oC. Hah! And so on ad infinitum as it becomes obvious that killing industrial capitalism is never the answer yet is the desired goal.
Now of course I’m a cynic for saying so but it is how I read it. And thus we get this latest 6 months to save the world – it’ll be 24 hours to save the NHS next.