On December 2nd, thousands of delegates representing 200 countries will gather in Katowice, Poland for what will be the most important climate conference since the signing of the Paris Accord in 2015. The goal of COP24 is to agree on a “work program” limiting the impact of climate change.
Over two weeks, delegates will negotiate the tracking, verifying and reporting of their country’s actions to reduce CO2 emissions.
The talks are occurring just weeks after the UN issued a chilling report warning of the devastating repercussions of climate change if global warming exceeds 2°C. See: Time is Running Out on Climate Change.
This earlier UN report described a narrow 12-year window in which steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must be taken.
“If the emissions gap is not closed by 2030, it is extremely unlikely that the 2°C temperature goal can still be reached.”
“The science is clear; for all the ambitious climate action we’ve seen – governments need to move faster and with greater urgency. We’re feeding this fire while the means to extinguish it are within reach,” UNEP stated
The UN report also called out governments for seriously falling behind in the commitments they made in Paris.
Your Participation at COP24
Track COP24 events as they unfold and share your views on the “People’s Seat.” Visit #Take Your Seat and let your voice be heard.
“promoting tobacco at a cancer summit”
While most delegates will be examining clean energy options, the US team at COP24 will devote their efforts to promoting the benefits of fossil fuels especially coal. This echoes what they did at COP23 held last year in Bonn, Germany. The former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg compared this sideshow stunt to “promoting tobacco at a cancer summit…If the administration won’t lead they should at least get out of the way.”
On top of threatening to withdraw from the Paris agreement Donald Trump cancelled $2 billion pledged in 2009 for a fund to enable poorer nations to counter the effects of climate change.
A Black Black Friday
In the U.S. the day following Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday, a name now appropriate for an entirely new reason. This last Black Friday, a truly “black” report on the impact of climate change was released by 13 US federal agencies. The release on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the calendar when attention is directed to hunting for bargains or sleeping off Thanksgiving dinner was obviously meant to bury it. That didn’t happen.
Volume II of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, bluntly states that climate change is happening faster than at any time in the history of modern civilization. And that we are seeing the repercussions now in the form of extreme weather events like hurricanes and wild fires. The report concludes that this will only get worse.
“Decisions made today determine risk exposure for current and future generations and will either broaden or limit options to reduce the negative consequences of climate change.”
The 1600 page report compiled by over 300 scientists, states that the cost of inaction will be the lives of thousands of Americans and losses in the billions of dollars. The US economy could be reduced by 10% and Midwestern agriculture and coastal fishing industries devastated.
“I Don’t Believe It”
When reporters asked Trump what he thought of the findings of his own administration’s report, he responded, “I don’t believe it.” Following Trump’s lead the White House was in full containment mode. The press secretary said the report was “not based on facts.”
This is certainly consistent with other recent statements that Trump has made denying the impact of climate change. Calling climate change a “hoax” or a “money making industry” and that the scientists “have a very big political agenda.”
After walking through the devastation of Paradise, California just charred by the state’s most horrendous wild fire, Trump was asked if this experience changed his mind on climate change? “No, I have a strong opinion., I want great climate.” Trump’s response might be confusing, however the government’s report was chillingly clear, wildfires similar to those seen today will increase six fold by the end of the century.
Topping off that week Trump tweeted “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?” Counter to Trump his administration’s own report makes it very clear what is happening to Global Warming and it is not pretty.
Trump summed up the findings of his own climate change report this way. “a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers.”
See These Related Blue Ocean Articles:
What We Knew About Climate Change – and the forces at work that continue to block meaningful change.
How To Get More Ocean-Hearted Intel Delivered To Your Inbox!
We believe ocean lovers can change the world. If you care about the health of the ocean and want to do something about it, then connect with the Blue Ocean tribe: Our growing community of ocean change-makers is turning ocean lovers into ocean leaders. It starts with you. Join us!