The climate emergency plan
Hey, all you world leaders out there. Still thinking about how to tackle the climate crisis? Well, the time for thinking is over and the time for action is here. Scroll down this page and you’ll find a ten-step guide to help you get started.
In 1972 the Club of Rome released the report “Limits to growth”, warning that unlimited growth in population, material goods and resources would eventually lead to a collapse of the world’s economic and environmental systems.
Now, almost 50 years later, the situation is worse than the founders of the Club of Rome could ever have imagined.
While the human population has doubled, more than half the number of individual animals have been wiped out since 1970. Oceans are being filled with plastic but emptied of fish, and thousands of species have been lost forever.
And perhaps most importantly, our planet is suffering from a dangerously high fever.
“In our opinion, the only possible response to this unprecedented challenge is what we call Emergency Action, to transform our social, economic and financial systems”, said Anders Wijkman, honorary chairman of the Club of Rome, in a presentation of the document at the Climate Emergency Plan seminar on 24 November.
The seminar, hosted by WeDon’tHaveTime, the Club of Rome and Global Utmaning, took place in Stockholm, Sweden, but was broadcast online and followed by a global audience.
The Emergency Plan is an attempt to respond to the calls for action from citizens around the world and to formulate a plan to ensure climate stability.
”We believe that if we do it the right way, it could lead to what we would call a societal renaissance. We have the knowledge, we know what’s at stake. What is lacking so far is political will”, said Anders Wijkman.
Here are the ten calls to action outlined in the plan.
1. Halt fossil fuel expansion and fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.
“We specifically state: no new investments in coal, oil or gas exploration and development after 2020”, said Anders Wijkman during the seminar. “And we should have a total phase-out of the existing fossil fuel industry by 2050.”
2. Continue the doubling of wind and solar capacity every four years, and triple annual investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low carbon technologies for high emitting sectors before 2025.
“We would like to give specific priority to low-income countries because if you want to modernise your country you need access to modern energy carriers. If renewables aren’t there, you’ll stick to oil, coal and gas.”
3. Introduce realistic pricing and taxation to reflect the true cost of fossil fuel use and embedded carbon by 2020.
“Firstly, put a price on carbon. It’s long overdue. Use the tax income to boost research and innovation in alternative energy and/or bring tax money back to the people, and/or for propping up welfare services.”
4. Replace GDP growth as the main objective for societal progress.
“I don’t know how many years I’ve been working on this notion of ‘Beyond GDP’. Some growth is good, but some is bad. We need to replace a quantitative indicator with a qualitative indicator.”
5. Improve refrigerant management by 2020.
“The CFCs are still a major threat to the climate. We could do much more to ensure that those technologies are phased out as soon as possible.”
6. Encourage exponential technology development by 2020.
“The development of artificial intelligence is rarely linked to climate change and sustainable development. In areas where it has been proven very hard to reduce emissions, we believe that close cooperation with some of those innovators could bring out something good. An international task force focusing on that is one of our demands.”
7. Ensure greater materials efficiency and circularity by 2025.
“Basic materials such as steel, cement, aluminium and plastics make up almost 20 percent of carbon emissions. Demand for infrastructure is increasing rapidly on a global level, and if those demands are met with conventional technology we can forget about the Paris objectives.”
8. Accelerate regenerative land use policies.
“We need to protect our forests much better, and we need to step up investments in new forests. There are hundreds of millions of hectares of degraded lands that could be reforested. And finally, agriculture. Every time you put a plough in the soil you release carbon. But we don’t have to plough. New systems are developing, called conservation or regenerative agriculture, which are very promising.”
9. Ensure that population growth is kept under control by giving priority to education and health services for girls and women; promote reproductive health and rights, including family planning programmes.
“The idea that population size doesn’t matter is wrong. We have gone from 3.5 billion people, when the Limits to growth report was published some 50 years ago, to 7.6 billion people today. And the most likely development, according to the UN, is that there will be more than 11 billion people at the end of the century.”
10. Provide for a fair transition in all affected communities.
“There will be losers in the transition. Look at all the regions that are heavily dependent on coal. We have to help both the workers and the companies to make the necessary transition. We are also very attracted by an idea from the climate leadership council in Finland, called the Citizens’ Climate Pledge, focusing primarily on the ten percent of the world’s wealthiest citizens, who are causing 50 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. They should apply the carbon law as well, and half their emissions every decade, until 2050.”
Written by Markuss Lutteman
Proofreading by Jane Davis
Facts about the Club of Rome
The Club of Rome, founded in 1968, is a global think tank whose members share a common concern for the future of humanity and strive to make a difference. Among the members are notable scientists, economists, businessmen and businesswomen and former heads of state from around the world.
The Club of Rome conducts research and hosts debates, conferences, lectures, high-level meetings and events. The Club also publishes a limited number of peer-reviewed reports, the most famous of which is “The Limits to Growth”.
The Climate Emergency Plan was written by Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Ian Dunlop and Anders Wijkman, with support from Martin Hedberg and Till Kellerhoff.
Read the full version here.
About We Don’t Have Time
We Don’t Have Time are currently building the world’s largest social network for climate action. Together we can solve the climate crisis.
But we are running out of time.