2020 is our last, best chance to save the planet

2020 is our last, best chance to save the planet

From our point of view today, 2020 looks like the year when an unknown virus control, went off hundreds of thousands of people and has changed the way we live from day to day killed. In the future, we can look back to 2020, the year when the cliff climate or take to keep the last exit decided to drive away. It would be presented with the opportunity of this serious crisis mean the threat is increasing spending on solar panels and wind farms, the push-company emissions are saved average and promote cleaner forms of transport in the city. If we choose instead to finance new coal power plants and oil wells and factories turn reckless driving growth, we get stuck in a path to climate catastrophe. There is a gap to cross the street. In early April, as COVID-19 warned the US distribution and emergency doctors warned that New York could soon run out of hospital beds and fans, gathered Minister Donald Trump CEOs of some of the largest companies oil and gas in the country for a closed-door meeting at the White house Cabinet Room. The industry experienced its greatest hardships for decades, and Trump wanted companies to guarantee their place in the US economy driving half of the 21st century. Everything was to buy the excess oil on the table, tariff on imports US government itself. “We are in this work, and we are our energy business back,” said Trump, CEOs. “I’m with you 1000%.” A few days later, he announced that an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had mediated for cutting oil production and save the industry. available by the end of April, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, in a video message from across the Atlantic, a different approach to the economic future of the continent. A European Green Deal, he said, would be the E.U. his “driving force for the recovery.” “We can use this pandemic crisis into an opportunity to transform our economy in a different way to rebuild,” he said. On 27 May, it has promised more than $800 billion for the initiative and promised to transform the way in which Europeans live. In the last three years, the world outside the United States re-activation of cooperation between nations has largely tried retrograde position Trump to ignore the climate in 2020 hoping it would usher in a new president with a new position required for the worst devastation the to prevent climate change. But there is no more time to wait. We are in a climate crossroads: the world has already warmed 1.1 ° C since the Industrial Revolution. If we spend 2 ° C, it is likely to take one or more critical points where the effects of climate change should continue to gradually overnight to radically change the planet in formation. To ensure that we do not pass that threshold, we need to cut emissions in half by 2030. Climate change is understandably furious dropped from the public eye this year, as the crown pandemic. However, this year or maybe this year and next, is likely to be as even in the fight against climate change rotation. “We have no time to build new things in old ways,” said Rob Jackson, a science of the Earth system professor at Stanford University and President of the Global Carbon Project. What we will do now define the fate of the planet and human life on it-decades. The time frame for effective climate policy would always be tight, but the pandemic crown continued to reduce it. Scientists and politicians expected the green transition in the next decade come about, but the pandemic has driven 10 years planned investments in everything from power plants roads in several months time. The countries already have $11 Katherine for economic damage resulting from COVID-19 output. You could spend more billions. “It ‘s likely to be expressed in these next six months, that recovery strategies are and the route is set,” says Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank noted for his landmark report in 2006 warning that the change climate could devastate the world economy. We do not know where the chips will fall if a new respect for science, and the fear of future shocks lead us to wake up, or desire to return to normality will shadow the threats lurking around the corner? We are on the brink of a climate catastrophe largely because of measures taken during a recent crisis decisions. Since the world of the Great Depression and World War II came, that of the United States must make a quick offer for the global economy running on fossil fuels again. In the early postwar years the Americans pulled suburbs and began to gas-guzzling vehicles to go to work, while the federal government built a highway system linking the country for these vehicles. The largest item in the Marshall Plan, the US government program that recovery in Europe is funded, the oil has gone to support that ensured that the economy of the continent would run on this fossil fuel. Meanwhile, plastic, a petroleum derivative, the go-to-consumer chips, after which the production capacity of the United States had developed during World War II for use was. The underlying philosophy of economic development in this period has been a focus on the gross national product, a term developed by the US government economists during the depression that contains the prosperity of consumption as a proxy: The more you consume, the more according to this model, which spread after the war, the United States assiduously abroad. The infinite promise of growth and an endless supply of oil in power plants, cars and jet planes required. In 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sealed an agreement with Ibn Saud, the first king of Saudi Arabia to trade security for access to vast reserves of the country’s oil. Every US president has implicitly or explicitly, that the exchange continued. The pandemic Crown is the most significant disturbance even at war with fossil fuels. The world economy is expected to shrink by more than 5% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This is so great that it creates a challenge even a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change direction. That moment arrives just in time. In 2018, a landmark report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body science of the United Nations climate, warned that the planet can heat more than 2 ° C above pre-industrial levels would Hundreds drive millions of people in poverty, destroying coral reefs and let some countries unable to adapt. Tipping Point identified obtain an analysis in 2019 in the journal Nature nine collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet to thawing permafrost, the planet seems close, one of which may be activated when the very first heating, 5th C is higher than “beyond 2 ° C a very important step,” says Johan Rockstrom, director of the Potsdam Institute for climate impact research “not only in terms of economic and human impact, but also in terms of stability of the earth. “have to maintain temperatures to rise more than 1.5 ° C target would global emissions of greenhouse gases by 7.6% annually over the next ten years, according to a report by the environmental program of Nations United cut (UNEP). It is about the level of COVID-19 emissions are reduced pandemic this year, but almost no one thinks of deadly pandemic and unemployment that accompanies it is a sustainable way to stop climate change and recessions are usually followed by strong emission rebounds. To achieve the target of 1.5 ° C, without causing massive disruption has always reflective means restructuring the world economy, slowly but surely, to remove him from fossil fuel extraction. Scientists and economists agree this is the last chance we have to do. “If we delay beyond 2020,” says Rockstrom, “there is absolutely empirical evidence, is that it can be done in an orderly manner.” $11 Katherine measures on since the end of June had a bit ‘of countries spend the pandemic response and curb economic impact, according to the IMF. Economists say that is not enough, and the state money and central planning delivered to maintain, to keep the world economy afloat for help. There are many things we can buy with this money that would make our lives better and safer from climate catastrophe. In recent months, major institutions have offered through the portion of the spectrum that vary in their specifics, but generally similar in philosophy: investing in green infrastructure. The International Energy Agency (IEA), for example, provides for an annual investment of $1 Katherine in clean energy for the next three years. At a cost of approximately 0.7% of world GDP, this would be a small portion represents the COVID 19-fight funds spent, but it could be transformed. Expansion and modernization of power grids would assist with renewable energy flow. Governments could buy gas vehicles off high consumption, consumers are pushing to go electric. Houses and buildings could be adapted to use less energy. This spending could also help solve the world and to create the world’s GDP increased by 1.1%, which means it could add more to the economy than it costs the immediate problem of lost jobs and economic stagnation almost 10 million jobs. It ‘important that in one step would be green investments “co-benefits”. For example, some rural communities have access to electricity would receive for the first time. Second, air pollution would be reduced worldwide. “If governments do not use this option, you may be missing a very important tool for economic recovery,” said Fatih Birol, chief IEA. But this time is not only an opportunity; while maintaining the status quo is dangerous. Research by UNEP last year shows released when the nations with the current plans are to reduce emissions, global temperatures by the end of this century, increased by more than 3 ° C. In the last five years, environmentalists have placed fundamental in 2020 fight against climate change. As part of Pariseren, countries are required to reduce new plans to introduce emissions in 2020, and diplomatic climate had expected the momentum to build a series of meetings around the world this year, with the United Nations Conference on climate change culminates in Glasgow in November. The Glasgow event was postponed for a year, but the crown pandemic has created a new dynamic type. empty streets of the city have been transformed relegated to pedestrian space with cars, and many cities say they do not go back. The oil industry has falls somewhere in mid-April in negative territory and investors fleeing the industry an agreement with the reference price of US facing; small businesses filed for bankruptcy; and some of its greatest players Active writing say they have lost their value. begin to appear with portent, many countries are beginning to build another world. In South Korea, the new government has a new $10 billion Green New Deal promised to invest in renewable energy and make public buildings more efficient. In Costa Rica, one of the few countries in the developing eliminate their carbon footprint to commit to 2050, the leaders have created a new tax for social welfare programs gasoline funds and plan new green issues to finance the next phase of climate adaptation of bonds programs. Rwanda, which has a GDP of about $9 billion, has taken to reduce a $11 billion plan emissions and adaptation to climate change, including a push for buses, cars and motorcycles for electric go. “We can not have the same type of recreation they afford the same way we do business, the same type of economic activity,” says Julia Kabera, Director General of Rwanda Environment. International institutions play a fundamental role, nudging these countries. The IMF, which has said it is “ready” their ability to take advantage of $1 Katherine loans to the effects of the pandemic Crown AVERT made for their climate resilience credit key criterion. This has already paid off: about 50 nations, including dozens of developing countries engaged in late June of climate change in their address to the crown restoration plans. “It ‘think of a great catalyst to build a new world,” said Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada. “Whatever we decide as a country or as a global community over the next six or 10 or 12 months it is going to determine what happens over the next ten years on earth.” Nowhere will act as large, such an approach, as in the European Union when compared with countries is the blocking of the second largest economy in the world and the third largest emitter. His recovery pandemic will contribute to the proposed target of halving emissions in 10 years to reach to make homes more energy efficient spending of $100 billion a year to build renewable energy capacity $28 billion and up to 67 billion of $zero emission characteristics. European investment to go green is the coal mining jobs in countries like Poland and the Czech Republic hurt, but the European Recovery Program will pay billions of workers and transition to other industries redevelopment. The measure approved expects Member States and the details are being negotiated, but observers do not expect to change the direction of policy. Other major players in the global economy, particularly the US and China, not recovered as a clear commitment to a greenish. The upcoming decisions in these two countries, which together account for nearly half of global emissions, are urgent. China is pulled in two directions as you develop a plan that the course of its evolution, and are set by extension, his half of the emissions in the next decade. like China subside in March outbreak crown began the powerful Standing Committee of the nation’s Politburo, which is made up of heads of high-ranking Communist Party, including President Xi Jinping, has approved a proposed $1.4 Katherine spending on so-called “speed up new infrastructure,” the stations charging and rail and electrical 5G technology vehicles at high speed does not cut itself emissions, but allows you to advance technology includes the country rather than its heavy industry, promote economic growth with lower emissions. But the degree of commitment to this the green recovery measures remains unclear. The push Politburo Standing Committee is unfounded, the provincial government will rely on follow through. So far, the evidence on the ground was not encouraging. Local Chinese government approves new coal this year at the fastest clip since 2015 a sure way to stimulate economic growth and emissions. And the country is reportedly planning the production of oil, natural gas ramp. The demand has decreased, but the cheapest oil and gas typically boost the economy. Abroad, China continues to fund high-carbon projects for their belts and roads initiative. In Africa, for example, the financing of new coal power plants China has so many international financial institutions backed away from the power source. external pressure is likely to force the hand, and E.U. try to offer just that. To push China and other compounds, the block is working on a new tax imports from countries that do not reduce emissions. Climate and trade are currently being discussed by both officials behind the scenes and were top of the agenda in a time shifted September summit between the E.U. be planned and China. “Europe is a very important market for China,” says Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation and a key architect of the Paris Agreement. “China can be guaranteed in its potential exports to Europe by understanding that can guarantee ambition positive trade relations, increasing the air.” However, when it comes to rotate, the climate ship goes, there is no substitute for the United States and the land of opportunity has already lost. For example, before the bailout money distributed, asked France, Air France continues forced to intensive short-range emissions and Austria Austrian Airlines accept the operation, their emissions by 30% by 2030. Contrast that to cut the United States, where the government has even that receive federal funds, could airline companies not fall all their objectives, although to solve the problem meant planes flying with empty and the Congress rejected an attempt by several democratic senators the green strings in the bailout of the airline. It ‘hard for so long to present something material, like the president of Trump. He and his allies of the GOP in Congress have an effective stranglehold on any policy that might push to decarbonise the United States, and so far they have great legislation rejected climate change portrait address as a “socialist” and part of the Green New Deal that the progressive wing of the Democrats have over the last year the Republicans a hoax. On the contrary, the Trump administration is reportedly prepared an infrastructure package $1 Katherine focused on roads and bridges. “If you want to call it green, which will probably actually included reducing his chances,” said an aide to the Democratic Congress working on energy and climate. So is the future of US emissions is the winner likely to fall in the autumn. Joe Biden, the former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, the role of the pandemic shooting game in emissions design. Guarded Biden, the last of the Member States of a decade ago stimulus in the midst of the Great Recession. The package was nearly $800 billion, with $90 billion for operations of clean energy and helped launch many of America Green progress, including the financing of Tesla’s transformation from a boutique car company for most manufacturers of valuable cars in the world; financing a program to double the fuel efficiency of Daimler Trucks Iveco model; and to reduce the support for the weatherization of more than one million households for residential energy consumption. The package creates 900,000 jobs and turned a profit for the government, even if it is high-profile errors, such as the collapse of Solyndra solar panel companies suffered. Last year, Biden published a proposal for a Green New Deal, to $1.7 Katherine spending more than 10 years on everything from electric vehicles to pollution in low-income communities all at the service of the United States achieve zero net emissions by half It reduced the century call. Since the pandemic began crown, has Biden doubled down: announced its Green New Deal has appointed a committee, the lawyers long climate data such as former Secretary of State John Kerry and emerging leaders of the Democratic Progressive wings like current new York Alexandria Washington Congress contains Ocasio-Cortez sets new air policy. Top Democrats in Congress, the signal support for a major climate change package, revealing a map of 500 pages of legislative road June 30, tax incentives and infrastructure to the costs incurred in the country’s carbon footprint to eliminate by 2050 . Do not become law this year it sends a signal that this issue will be legislative agenda if Biden wins in the fall. “We must strike now. We can let go of this,” said Biden in a League of Conservation Voters virtual event on June 16 Nicht because of me, but because of the way. ‘It’ important that Biden has promised to engage with the rest of the world on the issue, including through the support fund for climate action in developing countries. China would not consider these loans are to get, but keeps a watchful eye, the nation as the unfolding of the US climate policy. China has been delayed several important decisions and reported to maintain its intention to new climate commitments until after the US presidential elections. Even after three years, Trump tearing the US global reputation climate raises the still brings us the world out. In which direction remains to be seen. For many that climate studies, the pandemic looks strangely familiar. First, the new virus seemed distant and irrelevant to most people, as long as you were not in the eye. The rest of the world watched in amazement as China Wuhan closed. horror stories of patients who die in the corridors of Milan shocked the US, but not enough to make it to prepare the nation. End of February, the last Democratic primary debate, the first in a critical state of South Carolina vote, presenters asked not one question, for an hour and 15 minutes of discussion, and spent less than five minutes later. were the researchers estimate that the US wake up jointly by the time the mail on March 11 Tom Hanks day of the pandemic game said that was positive, the NBA canceled its season and Trump has banned travelers from Europe thousands of people already infected in the country. In the few months since more than half a million people, including about 100,000 have died around the world, the United States, and there is no sign that we will soon get rid of the virus at any time. The history of climate change has evolved over the decades, but its orbit is very similar. For years we have seen increased evidence. We open-mouthed, as the super storms the world from Bangkok to Houston and unprecedented heat waves upwards which emerged bruised, to kill a few thousand here and there. As I write this, it’s 100 ° F in Siberia and devastating fires in an area known for its ice romp than a year. catastrophic climate change “These are danger signs,” says Gail Whiteman, a professor at the University of Lancaster, who runs an Arctic research program. If Wuhan and Milan offered a preview of what the US is now living with COVID-19, which is for the country, looking for a glimpse of a world changed climate? Last year I went to Fiji and found that on the face of brutal storms and rising sea levels, climate change is the defining issue on small Pacific islands, many of these lives. When a storm destroyed a school, students can not learn. When plants sugar cane are flooded, farmers are losing their jobs. If sea level rise too, they disappear entire communities. Climate concerns are fundamental to the economy and the center of their development plans. “This can not also responsible for 25,000 or 40,000 or even 100,000 people,” says who led the body Christiana Figueres Climate Change United Nations during talks on the Paris climate. “This has to penetrate every corner, every single channel, each stream of economic development and modernization. And ‘become the new norm.” That will come one way or another. Each country will be in the near future to combat climate change; we experience the change in today’s climate, the result of emissions largely happened more than a decade ago, are more. However, we have a choice how bad it will come. If we invest in the conservation of nature and the conversion of our energy system today, there will avert the worst thing that gives us the ability to manage the cyclones and floods as they come. If we wait, we are stuck his flat feet if the worst comes, you watch in dismay as the temperature curve ticks and up. The choice is ours. We simply do not have much time to decide. -With reporting by Leslie Dickstein, Alejandro De La Garza and Josh Rosenberg This appears in the July 20, 2020 issue of time.
Picture copyright by Trent Parke-Magnum Photos

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