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Op-Ed: World can learn from US states who defied Donald Trump over climate change

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The below excerpt originally appeared in The Scotsman on November 2, 2021

A four-year drought pushed southern Madagascar to the brink of climate-induced famine. A one-in-1,000-year heatwave scorched the normally temperate Pacific Northwest.

Climate change is no longer a distant, future threat. It’s already here, and it is already causing damage to communities around the world.

As global temperatures continue to climb, the effects on our planet and its 7.7 billion inhabitants will only get worse. As sea levels rise and the world continues to grapple with even more extreme droughts and fires, heatwaves and natural disasters, millions more people will be pushed out of their homes and communities.

The good news is, we still have it in our power to stave off the worst-case scenario. And the latest science shows us what that would take. The world must achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

And we must achieve much of these reductions over the coming decade if we are to keep alive the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

We can still achieve this, but not at the pace we are going. Countries must be bolder and move faster to meet ambitious near-term targets to reduce emissions.

At the UN climate change conference, COP26, national governments are presenting their latest plans for meeting the global targets set by the 2015 Paris Agreement. But it’s critical to remember that it’s not just large nations that will determine whether we succeed in tackling the climate crisis effectively. Not only is the problem too big, but many of the solutions lie in the hands of other actors, from states and cities to businesses and other civic organizations.

Continue reading the full text on The Scotsman.

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