There is unprecedented global momentum to build a low-carbon, climate-secure future. However, in fact, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are still accumulating at a rate that will soon take us well above the 1.5°C threshold, beyond which some of the worst effects of climate change cannot be staved off. Extreme weather already is becoming more common, as exemplified by record-high temperatures worldwide this year. On current trends, average global temperatures could well rise by 3°C, imperiling vital natural systems like coral reefs, rainforests, and the polar regions. All relevant stakeholders need to strengthen their climate commitments. By Patricia Espinosa and Anne Hidalgo
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Results for Op-Ed World Environment
Wednesday 29 August 2018
Tuesday 14 August 2018
New York, USA
This summer's fires, droughts, and record-high temperatures should serve as a wake-up call. The longer a narrow and ignorant elite condemns Americans and the rest of humanity to wander aimlessly in the political desert, the more likely it is that we will all end up in a wasteland. But instead of a Moses guiding humanity in this new and dangerous wilderness, a gang of science deniers and polluters currently misguides humanity to ever-greater danger. We are all climate refugees now and must chart a path to safety. By Jeffrey D. Sachs.
Thursday 19 July 2018
Since the Paris climate agreement was signed in 2015, too many policymakers have fallen for the oil and gas industry’s rhetoric about how it can help to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Tall tales about “clean coal,” “oil pipelines to fund clean energy,” and “gas as a bridge fuel” have coaxed governments into rubber-stamping new fossil-fuel projects, even though current fossil-fuel production already threatens to push temperatures well beyond the Paris agreement’s limit of well below 2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels. By Lili Fuhr and Hannah McKinnon
Wednesday 17 January 2018
London, United Kingdom
Plastics are among the most popular materials in use today. Given the material’s versatility, it is little wonder that some 320 million tons of it are used around the world each year. But plastics also pose a serious environmental threat. ...As plastics change, the ways countries integrate them into their economies must change, too. By Michael Stephen
Tuesday 9 January 2018
Washington D.C., U.S.A
The size of oxygen-starved ocean “dead zones,” where plants and animals struggle to survive, has increased fourfold around the world, according to a new scientific analysis. “Oxygen is fundamental to life in the oceans,” said Denise Breitburg, lead author and marine ecologist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. “The decline in ocean oxygen ranks among the most serious effects of human activities on the Earth’s environment.”
Sunday 19 November 2017
Next year’s “Talanoa Dialogue” – to be convened by Fiji, which last week became the first island state to chair UN climate talks – will help countries identify exactly how they can achieve the goals set in the Paris agreement. That dialogue, which countries should approach in good faith, must be a springboard for further action. By Hilda Heine and Kevin Rudd
Wednesday 8 November 2017
Solutions to the climate crisis are often associated with big conferences, and the next two weeks will no doubt bring many “answers.” Some 20,000 delegates have now descended on Bonn, Germany, for the latest round of United Nations climate change talks. The talks in Bonn should focus on the implementation of the Paris climate agreement. And the path forward is clear. By Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder and Jörg Haas.
Tuesday 24 October 2017
The Earth today is more than 1°C hotter than it was in pre-industrial times, and the terrible symptoms of its fever are already showing. This year alone, back-to-back hurricanes have devastated Caribbean islands, monsoon flooding has displaced tens of millions in South Asia, and fires have raged on nearly every continent. Pulling the planet back from the brink could not be more urgent. Those of us who live on the front lines of climate change – on archipelagos, small islands, coastal lowlands, and rapidly desertifying plains – can’t afford to wait and see what another degree of warming will bring. By Loren Legarda
Wednesday 16 August 2017
Santa Monica, USA
As global temperatures rise and droughts become more common, political agitation, social unrest, and even violence will likely follow. Scientists agree that climate change poses a grave danger to the planet. But for some reason, politicians and government officials have not connected the dots between a changing climate and human conflicts. Among the many threats associated with climate change, deteriorating global security may be the most frightening of all. It is bad enough to see farmers carrying skulls through the streets of India. But if we do not get serious about climate-driven security risks, we could see far worse. By Gulrez Shah Azhar
Thursday 3 August 2017
Los Angeles, USA
Despite the falsehoods that some politicians peddle, facts still matter, and getting those facts right is essential for survival. I know, because I regularly see the deadly consequences of getting facts wrong. ... When we glibly dismiss fact-checked articles in reputable news sources as “fake news,” we fail to use evidence to support our conclusions. In politics as in science, when we dismiss revealed truth, we increase the likelihood of catastrophically bad outcomes. By Daniel T. Blumstein.
Monday 10 July 2017
Under President Donald Trump’s leadership, the United States took another major step toward establishing itself as a rogue state on June 1, when it withdrew from the Paris climate agreement. For years, Trump has indulged the strange conspiracy theory that, as he put it in 2012, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.” But this was not the reason Trump advanced for withdrawing the US from the Paris accord. Rather, the agreement, he alleged, was bad for the US and implicitly unfair to it. - Joseph E. Stiglitz.
Wednesday 7 June 2017
We live on a parched planet. Subterranean aquifers, which amount to the world’s reserve water tank, are also running dry. If this continues, the consequences could be dire. Depleted aquifers near coastlines are prone to contamination from saltwater, rendering land barren...Subterranean aquifers should be the reservoir of last resort. If we don’t protect them today, future generations will pay a steep – or even an existential – price. By Yasmin Siddiqi, Principal Water Resources Specialist at the Asian Development Bank.
Thursday 1 June 2017
New York, USA
President Donald Trump’s ravings against the 2015 Paris climate agreement are partly a product of his ignorance and narcissism. Yet they represent something more. They are a reflection of the deep corruption of the US political system, which, according to one recent assessment, is no longer a “full democracy.” American politics has become a game of powerful corporate interests: tax cuts for the rich, deregulation for mega-polluters, and war and global warming for the rest of the world. By Jeffrey D. Sachs.
Sunday 21 May 2017
If there are any geologists in millions of years, they will easily be able to pinpoint the start of the so-called Anthropocene – the geological age during which humans became the dominant influence on our planet’s environment. Wherever they look, they will find clear evidence of its onset, in the form of plastic waste. Plastic is a key material in the world economy...But plastic already is creating massive global environmental, economic, and social problems.
Saturday 8 April 2017
With the exception of launching a nuclear war, it is hard to think of anything a US president could do that is liable to harm more people than last month’s order canceling rules issued under former President Barack Obama to freeze the construction of new coal-fired power plants and shut down many old ones. President Donald Trump’s order followed his pledge to rescind stricter fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks, and his announcement that he wants to slash spending on climate science. By Peter Singer.