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Skea: “Urgency, Agency, Equity” in Climate Change Fight

Skea: “Urgency, Agency, Equity” in Climate Change Fight
31 . Jan . 2024

Jim Skea, IPCC President and Professor of Sustainable Energy at the Imperial College of London, said that: “This is the decade of climate action, and I want to use this opportunity to set out some clear messages from the IPCC and the scientific community. I can sum it up in three words: urgency, agency, and equity. Climate policies have begun to bend the upward trend in emissions, but we have yet to put global emissions on a steep downward path. Without immediate action to reduce emissions and adapt to continued warming, threats to planetary health and human systems are inevitable.”

“Fortunately, we have the tools available to take the necessary action. There is a critical message of hope in the last IPCC report: we, humans, do have the agency to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and shape our future on this planet. We have started to make progress. The costs of renewable energy have fallen dramatically; wind and solar energy are growing exponentially. Electricity is increasingly used in markets dominated by oil and gas, for transport and heating. But this growth has been concentrated in just a few parts of the world. Infrastructure investment in developing countries will be key to continued expansion. Our message on agency is blunt: we have the technology, the know-how, and the money to tackle climate change. We need to put them to use. Now.”

“In view of the extreme weather phenomena that took place this summer, I think we should be increasingly worried about the consequences of climate change. However, if we compare the situation on effective climate action to ten or twenty years ago, I’d say there is reason to be optimistic. If ten or twenty years ago, someone had told me what was tohappen with renewable energy, I would have fallen off my chair. We have made enormous progress in some sectors. However, the hardest part still lies ahead. In a certain sense, these major renewable projects – for example, a gigawatt of energy from offshore wind energy – seem incredibly difficult, and they are technically. So, my greatest respect goes to those who are developing all of this. The board of administrators of a large company can make a single decision that will have a major impact. Nonetheless, many of the measures that we will need to adopt in the future are on a smaller scale and will touch the lives of individuals more directly. It’s going to be a great challenge.”

Sources:

Opening remarks by IPCC Chair Jim Skea, at Climate Week NYC, IPCC https://www.ipcc.ch/2023/09/18/climate-week-ipcc-chair-jim-skea/

Jim Skea: Carbon capture is just one part of the solution, Finacial Times https://www.ft.com/content/dee277e9-9774-4555-b0ee-01debb342eba

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