For Immediate Release
IPCC Report Confirms: Climate Inaction No Longer an Option
WASHINGTON - Today’s release of the latest synthesis report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), known as AR5, sounds the alarm for immediate action on climate change and the pressing necessity for keeping much of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground, according to the global climate campaign 350.org.
The report, which is the most authoritative, comprehensive assessment of scientific knowledge on climate change, finds with near certainty that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet and that climate impacts are accelerating--including greater sea ice melt; sea level rise; and dangerous ocean and surface level warming. Scientists have upped the certainty that humans are responsible for warming, increasing their confidence to 95%
Of importance to note that the IPCC’s carbon budget assessment recognises the amount of emissions to keep within 2°C is finite serving as a timely reminder of the systemic risk sitting on the books of extractives companies. Currently, the fossil fuel industry has roughly 2795 gigatons of CO2 in their reserves.To keep emissions under that threshold, major polluting nations would need to commit to policies to keep nearly 80% of those fossil fuel reserves underground.
"We've won the scientific argument for fifteen years--we know beyond any doubt that carbon is warming the atmosphere,” said 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben, a well known American writer and environmentalist. “But we also know beyond any doubt that fossil fuel money is polluting the politics of climate. That's why we keep building movements."
350.org and its partners are building this movement through efforts such as the fossil fuel divestment campaign. Launched in November 2012 in the US it has since spread to over 300 colleges and universities and more than 100 U.S. cities, states and religious institutions.
McKibben will head to Europe for a five-city tour starting October 27 to help launch the fossil fuel divestment movement there. A few weeks later, 350.org and its partners will be working to raise the issue of the carbon budget and the need for divestment at the United Nations climate talks in Warsaw, Poland.
In parallel 350.org is also working with youth activists across the globe as part of the Global Power Shift movement to help build national level ambition for climate action. In June, over 500 youth activists converged in Istanbul to help plan the next phase of their co-operative work to take on the fossil fuels industry and their political defenders at home and abroad. Some of these plans have come to fruition with the launch of power shift campaigns in countries such as Australia, Sweden and Vietnam serving to spark a wave of convergences, campaigns, and mobilsations for climate action.
350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.