A Race Against Time

A weather research station in Antarctica has recorded a temperature of nearly 70-degrees, significantly higher than the 65-degree reading taken February 6. Although yet to be certified, alarm bells should be ringing in every political leader’s office around the world. And the Earth just had the hottest January since records began, data shows.

Yet, there is some good news. Australia has finally stopped burning. We are running out of time, and yet, there are some hopeful signs on the horizon if we keep our politicians’ feet to the fire and demand action now. And the incoming CEO of British Petroleum Bernard Looney announced plans to bring the company to net zero by 2050 or sooner and help the word do the same.

Fossil fuel divestment is one of the most critical signals we can give to industry leaders to begin transformative change to our energy systems. Polish utilities Enea and Energa recently announced that they would suspend work on the controversial new coal plant, citing economic concerns. This signals “the end for new coal” in Europe according to lawyers at Client Earth.

We now need national all-party political leadership to implement the policies below to accelerate climate action innovations.

  1. Eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies immediately and use the savings to accelerate the take-up of new clean technologies.
  2. Establish a high-level national round table to develop the transition paths for implementing a carbon neutral economy by 2030, including a plan for stranded assets.
  3. Implement a more rapidly increasing carbon tax to sustain individual choices and invest the money to incentivize  energy efficiency of building stock across the country.

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