Climate and Energy

Fighting global warming is a marathon, not a sprint

Extreme heat waves, prolonged rainfall, dangerous storms, tornados, hail the size of tennis balls, floods and fires are just a few examples of phenomena indicating how widespread climate change is. It is global in nature and every country is impacted by its effects.

This fact has been confirmed by the Fifth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This panel of experts from more than 70 countries ? which gathered together the results of many years’ measurements and research – has ascertained that the Earth’s climate is warming and it is beyond all doubt that this is occurring predominantly as a result of the activities of humans. The IPCC experts also anticipate that unless we take decisive steps with the aim of limiting climate change, global warming will cause dramatic changes all over the world as early as this century.

An unprecedented threat

Climate change is the biggest threat as well as being the greatest challenge that our civilisation has ever faced. No single country is able to solve this problem on its own. This is why at the UN Climate Summit in New York world leaders should undertake steps with the aim of creating the foundations underpinning the agreement with its ambitious vision and binding nature. The summit organised by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, is a unique opportunity for the participants to pave the way for achieving a new climate pact which is to be signed in 2015 in Paris.

With this in mind, they should no longer limit themselves to trotting out the same statements over and again, demonstrating goodwill or expressing their concern. If they want to effectively combat climate change and limit its negative impacts, politicians must develop a long-term strategy based on ambitious actions encompassing all countries. World leaders should realise that the fight against global warming is not a sprint but a marathon. Well-planned courses of action aiming at mitigating the effects of climate change will bring about social benefits in the long-term, improve quality of life, help us to protect our planet’s diversity and bring financial savings, even if they require a higher level of investment to begin with. Without the new climate pact we will squander the efforts we have made so far and we cannot afford to put off action any more.

Time to act in unison

Politicians should not side with our planet’s polluters but rather society and listen to what it has to say. They had the opportunity to do so last Sunday during the People’s Climate Mobilization on 21 September 2014 in New York. In excess of 310,000 people took part in the march on the city’s streets – this was the biggest peaceful climate demonstration in history. According to the latest data presented by The Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA) this was one of 2,646 actions organised on this day in 156 countries all over the world.

This global mobilisation is the expression of the fear on the part of thousands of people from various backgrounds, social groups and countries that unless all countries take real action to stop climate change, it will soon spin out of control and humanity will not be able to deal with this issue. People all over the world are uniting to send politicians a clear signal that this is the last chance to draw up a new agreement which will have the aim of limiting greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution, more effective energy use, promoting using energy from renewable sources, persuading businesses to adopt an environmentally responsible approach, developing balanced and clean transport, ensuring environmentally friendly land use planning and creating the conditions fostering the development of eco technologies.

World leaders must understand that in order to fully meet the challenge of limiting CO2 emissions, we must combine and co-ordinate our efforts on a local, national and global level. An international agreement will lay down the guidelines and specify the framework for this; whilst diverse actions demonstrating our solidarity at all levels will help us to achieve success in the fight against climate change.

 

This article was originally published by Zieloni Wiadomosci.

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