CUSJ endorses plea for urgent climate action

In October 2016, the CUSJ signed on to the Civil Society Equity Review on national pledges made at last year’s UN Climate Summit in Paris. CUSJ had signed on to the previous report by the same organization in 2015.

This short report focuses on the urgent need for governments to aim higher when it comes to climate change mitigation goals. The report analyzes 2020 pledges and support, against a 2020 emissions benchmark that is consistent with a true 1.5°C mobilization. It draws simple but challenging conclusions about the changes that will be needed, before 2020, if we honestly intend to make a just and successful transition to a zero carbon world.

CUSJ President Margaret Rao states, “All developed countries are woefully lacking in moving to national and international climate change mitigation and investment in renewable energy alternatives. … We have a long way to go with immediate, short and long-term carbon reduction goals.”
The report states that any pathway that has a reasonable chance of holding the warming to 1.5°C requires an extremely ambitious mitigation effort that should begin very soon. The report uses 40 GtCO2eq as a 2020 emissions level that is consistent with a rapid shift to a 1.5°C pathway. By comparison, the business-as-usual emissions level would be roughly 54 GtCO2eq in 2020. Therefore, to reach the more ambitious 40 GtCO2eq benchmark would require about 14 GtCO2eq of annual mitigation to be put in place by 2020. This is an extremely challenging prospect, given that emissions are now nearing 50 GtCO2eq.

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