A common thread throughout history is that great leaders did the right thing at the right time, with courage and integrity. The current climate crisis has thrust our generation into such a moment in history.
“This year’s climate-fuelled hurricanes, floods, and droughts will rapidly worsen if we fail to seize our moment. The sooner we act, the better.”
Today, we face a threat and an opportunity like none we have seen before and have a small window of time in which to take decisive, bold action against climate change and deliver true security and justice for everyone.
It is not an easy challenge, but it’s one we can achieve with a sense of shared leadership. The enormity of climate change could easily dwarf us individually, but collectively we can rise to the challenge.
We can’t avert catastrophic climate change if only a few of us take action. It requires something of us all: from citizens to city mayors, from corporate CEOs to those on the frontlines of climate change, and world leaders too.
In the two years since the Paris Climate Agreement signalled the intention to limit global warming to 1.5ºC, world leaders have failed to deliver on their promise.
This was exposed in the UN Environment Programme’s Emissions Gap Report 2017, which showed that the pledges countries have made would only deliver a third of what is needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Climate action from the private sector and sub-national action is not enough to close the gap.
The World Meteorological Organisation’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin revealed that levels of carbon dioxide had surged at “record-breaking speed” to new highs in 2016. Rapidly increasing levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases can spark unprecedented changes in climate systems, they warned.
Time is running out. This year’s climate-fuelled hurricanes, floods and droughts will rapidly worsen if we fail to seize our moment. The sooner we act, the better. Bonn must help turn the tide.