The world is in trouble. This much we all know. We also know that we as human beings shoulder a pretty big part of the blame. Forecasts are grim and although there is a consensus among decision makers across the globe that actions need to be taken, the current political climate might not allow that to happen.
The Exponential Climate Action Roadmap is a 100 plus page report put together by key actors in the field concerned with the future of our planet. Taking its cue from the Paris Agreement it aims to shed light on what is actually possible and more importantly what we must do in order to save our planet. Although some might argue that we have come a long way towards settling on Mars, perhaps we should be focusing on the issue at hand in our own backyard before we plot to go squatting at our neighbours.
The report argues that in order for us to reduce the impact of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2020, halve by 2030 and then halve again by 2040. It leads us to believe that saving the planet is completely possible, both from a technological point of view but also from an economical one. The problem is the incentive to do so. One would think that merely saving the planet and therefore the future of mankind would offer that incentive, but it doesn’t. This is more than evident by listening to leaders of nations around the world. If they are not busy denying the mere existence of climate change they are off elsewhere discussing new ways of scaling current harmful industrial production patterns. So, is there any hope? Well, the Exponential Climate Action Roadmap argues that there is. Aside from providing compelling arguments as to what the problem is, they actually offer tangible solutions as well.
What are the priorities then and how should we meet the goals of the Paris agreement according to the report? Well for one, all players need to enter the field. This will never work unless everyone pitches in and takes responsibility for their own actions. This holds true for governments as well as citizens. Another important aspect put forth by the report is the fact that we have the solutions we need to curb the problems we face, we just need to apply them and above all scale them. Here the decision makers of the world have a huge responsibility as they are the ones with the financial and structural muscles to do so. Policies needs to be written and implemented as well as financial incentives argued for. Again, the playing field is uneven, this we know. However, this should no longer be allowed to serve as a viable option for not pulling one’s weight. Not when the stakes are this high. Instead we need to opt for offence.
Just as the report argues, reducing the harmful effects of climate change is more than possible. All players simply need to set their sights on the common goal in what will be the most important game of all of our lives. More significantly, all players need to gear up and take responsibility for their own actions and assist the player next to them when they fumble.