EXPLAINER: The 2030 Climate Change Deadline

By Raymond Carl Gato


Climate change awareness has made the rounds on social media recently following the international arrest of scientists holding an environmental protest. Despite calls for minimizing carbon emissions, policymakers globally have been making shortcomings in implementing solutions for the 2030 Climate Change Deadline.




What does it mean?

A 2018 report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC) has set 2030 as the Climate Change deadline for gas emissions to be halved and reach net zero by 2050. If successfully done, having zero greenhouse gas by the next two decades would limit the global temperature to 1.5 degrees celsius. Failure to act immediately allows the catastrophic and irreversible effects of climate change on mankind.

According to a journal published by Climate Central, Metro Manila is on the verge of submersion in 2050 because of rising sea levels. Meanwhile, UNIPCC in September 2019 showed that oceans and polar regions worldwide have continued to warm and expand seawater from the melting ice sheets and glaciers.

A 1.5-degree celsius increase in temperature globally opens up extreme heat and changes in the process of precipitation, wherein frozen water in the atmosphere comes back to Earth, producing rains, sleet, and snow.

In 2015, 196 parties agreed upon the goal of limiting global temperature to 1.5 degrees celsius by creating their climate actions or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in an international treaty held in Paris. Since its implementation, more countries have switched to carbon neutrality, as per the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).


Data concerning Climate Change

The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports in 2021 that carbon dioxide emissions rose by 6% in 2021 to 36.3 billion tonnes - its highest level in history. World reliance on coal as a source of energy made the big jump possible after the increase in natural gas price. 

Burning carbon-filled coals in the process of producing energy releases toxins and pollutants into the atmosphere. In fact, 46% of gas emissions worldwide are directed to coal.

Despite the current undesirable numbers, a survey conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the University of Oxford on 1.2 million participants across the globe concluded that over 50 countries, 64% believe climate change is a global emergency.


Recent arrest of scientists in a Climate Change rally

Rooted in the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war, the United Kingdom government published a new energy strategy to use renewable energy sources and acquire more oil in the North Sea following the gas price hike globally. 

The controversial strategy includes the use of fracking, or the extraction of shale gas underground. Experts and environmental activists opposed the process because it could cause minor tremors and use lots of water to drill the Earth.

As a protest, 25 scientists have glued their hands and pages of scientific papers on the windows of the UK Department For Business, Energy, and Industrial Energy.

Over 1,000 scientists in 25 countries also joined the movement following IPCC's Working Group 3 report published on April 4, revealing that some countries are still incapable of implementing policies to reach the net-zero gas emission goal.

The report also states that the world must reach its greenhouse gas emission peak at 1.5C on or before 2025 and slowly reduce it. Polar regions, Arctic and Antarctic, have recorded an abnormal warmth of 60 to 90 degrees in March, which shocked scientists as it is ahead of their expectation

In a now-viral video, Peter Kalmus, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) climate scientist, chained himself in the JP Morgan Chase Building, saying the government "does not listen to scientists."

"We've been trying to warn you guys for so many decades," Kalum said.

The Twitter hashtag #LetTheEarthBreath stayed on top of the Philippine trends with 2.19 million tweets as of writing.

Researchers globally put up studies for decades showing the deteriorating effects of climate change to the planet, yet some leaders have rejected the report. Australia, for instance, rejected calls for phasing out coal power in 2021.

Is 2030 the "end-of-the-world"? No. Diana Liverman, a University of Arizona professor and one of the framers of UN's 2018 report, said that "the difference between 1.5 and 2, they are serious, but they are not apocalyptic."
 

REFERENCES

BBC News. (2022, April 7). What is fracking and why is it controversial?. Retrieved from BBC News website. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-14432401


Cabico, G.K. (2019, November 6). In 30 years, rising seas will threaten Philippine cities, towns home to 6.8 million. Retrieved from Philstar.com website. https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/11/06/1966508/30-years-rising-seas-will-threaten-philippine-cities-towns-home-68m


Dunbar, E. (2019, October 22). Climate curious: Is 2030 the deadline for climate action?. Retrieved from MPR News website. https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/10/22/climate-curious-is-2030-the-deadline-for-climate-action


Endcoal.org. (n.d.). End Coal. Retrieved from Endcoal.org website. https://endcoal.org/climate-change/ 


Harvey, F. (2022, April 4). Why are the three IPCC working group reports significant?. Retrieved from The Guardian website. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/04/why-are-the-three-ipcc-working-group-reports-significant


International Energy Agency. (2022, March 2022). Global CO2 emissions rebounded to their highest level in history in 2021. Retrieved from IEA website. Global CO2 emissions rebounded to their highest level in history in 2021 - News - IEA


Mcgrath, M. (2022, April 4). Climate change: IPCC scientists say it's 'now or never' to limit warming. Retrieved from BBC News website.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-60984663


Morton, A. (2021, November 4). Australian government refuses to join 40 nations phasing out coal, saying it won’t ‘wipe out industries’. Retrieved from The Guardian website. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/05/australia-refuses-to-join-40-nations-phasing-out-coal-as-angus-taylor-says-coalition-wont-wipe-out-industries


National Aeronautics and Space Agency. (n.d.). Sea Level. Retrieved from NASA website. https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/


National Geographic. (n.d.). Precipitation. Retrieved from National Geographic website. https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/


Samenow, J. & Patel, K. (2022, March 18). It’s 70 degrees warmer than normal in eastern Antarctica. Scientists are flabbergasted. Retrieved from The Washington Post website. https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2022/03/18/antarctica-heat-wave-climate-change/ 


Union of Concerned Scientists. (2019, July 9). Coal Power Impacts. Retrieved from UCSUSA website. https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/coal-power-impacts


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