The New IPCC Report Gives Us Hope

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The new IPCC report not only gives us hope about reducing emissions, it's also a reminder that the best time to act is right now .

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LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: El nuevo informe del IPCC nos da esperanza, ahora es nuestro momento de actuar

Climate change is on the political agendas of almost every country in the world and it has been an issue that has gained relevance over the last few years, because, unfortunately, the threat it represents both to human beings and to their style of life. In response, world leaders have upped their efforts to mitigate climate change and more than halve emissions by 2030.

The Paris Agreement, the Escazú Agreement, and the COP, among others, are just some of the international agreements that have been created in order to deal with this problem that is increasing over time. Likewise, groups such as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) constantly seek to report on the progress, failures, and times that we have as a society to stop and face phenomena such as climate change.

There is hope in all sectors

Although in recent years we have heard more bad news than good news on this issue, the latest IPCC report shows that paying attention to climate change is bearing fruit. According to the group of experts that make up this organization, climate action has been demonstrated. Suffice it to note that since 2010 there have been sustained decreases of up to 85% in the cost of renewable energies such as wind, solar, or batteries . Likewise, the organization has applauded the increase in policies and laws that protect natural resources and punish unsustainable practices.

For Hoesung Lee, president of the IPCC: “I am encouraged by the climate action that is being taken in many countries. There are policies, regulations, and market instruments that are proving to be effective. If these are scaled up and applied more broadly and equitably, they can support deep emission reductions and spur innovation.” This says a lot about what can be done if several countries are aligned under the same purpose.

One of the points that the report highlights the most is that most of the sectors have the opportunity, the tools and, above all, the capacity to opt for greener solutions, which implies that making a real and rapid change is probable and necessary from now on in all those sectors. This is very good because if the sectors adapt, a change in the lifestyle of human beings in their daily lives will be a closer reality. Here we respond to the logic of supply and demand. If users are offered green solutions that help them easily migrate to a much more sustainable and responsible lifestyle with the world, the demand is most likely to increase.

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Another noteworthy aspect is the efficient handling of materials. The production of basic materials represents a quarter of our planet's emissions, which is why recycling at the service of environmental well-being has been one of the leading causes in the race against climate change.

We can't let our guard down

Although with this latest report we receive very good news and we can feel a little more hope regarding the well-being of our only home, planet Earth, it is very important that both world leaders and industries understand that we must not lower the guard. There is still a long way to go and so far we are just starting it. In order to limit global warming to 1.5° C, the next few years will be more than critical, since by 2025 the limits of emissions must have been reached, so that by 2030 these are reduced by half.

In other words, the IPCC is warning us that what has been done up to now has worked, but that the task does not end here. For the organization, achieving these objectives will be impossible unless all sectors and in all their production chains decide to opt for solutions that take care of the future inhabitation of both our species and the thousands of others that inhabit our planet.

It is more necessary than ever that there is a lot of interest in developing new ideas, new ventures and new business models. Likewise, it is very important that policies and laws continue to grow and that the defense of environmental and social rights go hand in hand.

You also make the change

But if all of the above falls on industries and governments, what can we as individuals do? Industries, markets, will always need someone to sell to. There is no business if there is no customer. As clients, we can also demand, press for industries and sectors to start changing their business model for a more sustainable one, for practices that are more careful with the environment. Likewise, we are political individuals, so it is our responsibility to actively demand that our governments protect, care for, and defend the environment, especially during election times.

So it is time to rejoice at the good news but to continue fighting every day from the small and the great acts for environmental justice that also leads to social justice.