RED ALERT: Defend your future

4 June 2015

It’s time for a reality-check: mitigation is not a negotiation tactic, it’s a mission for protecting people and the world’s environments. The mounting tension surrounding the outcomes of the Structured Expert Dialogue (SED) shows that the journey from science to policy is a tricky path. (Saudi Arabia — we’re not impressed; this is not a game, decisions made here have profound effects on people’s lives and livelihoods.)

The SED said that 2˚C cannot serve as a guardrail that will keep us safe as long as we stay to one side, but rather 2˚C is at best a last-stand defence line. The review underscored that even 2˚C of global warming will incur heavy losses for the world and its peoples.  A 1.5˚C target would be much more secure.

The current warming of 0.85˚C is already incurring clear and inescapable damages. No community and no country, whether developed or developing, is exempt. Typhoon Haiyan devastated Filipino communities, and Cylone Pam hit Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and most of all Vanuatu with extraordinary force, wiping out hard-won development. Sea-level rise elevated the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy helping to bring one of the most sophisticated cities in the developed world to a standstill and there too, the poorest suffered most of all.

Negotiations on mitigation continue today — Parties know that 2˚C or 1.5˚C aren’t just random numbers, they mark the line between civilisation and chaos. But it’s not enough to know – it’s time to act. And mitigation isn’t just a bit of text to argue over, it’s a tool to defend everyone.

RED ALERT: Defend your future

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