VSHow to maintain hope without evading the reality of the climate crisis to change behavior? The synthesis of eight years of work by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published on Monday March 20, seeks to resolve this squaring of the circle.
Now, the reality of climate change and its cascading effects on life on Earth no longer suffers from contestation, except among a handful of isolated skeptics. This is undoubtedly the most tangible contribution of the IPCC, which since 1990 has been tirelessly alerting, enriching its work with increasingly precise data, nourishing reflection to help decision-makers implement actions commensurate with issues.
The peculiarity of the situation lies in the fact that man is both the problem and the solution. We are collectively the main responsible for the announced catastrophe, we are the designated victims but also the only ones able to act on the levers which can still change the situation.
The situation is hardly reassuring. Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached unprecedented levels. These discharges are the cause of climatic extremes whose frequency is constantly accelerating, resulting in heat waves, droughts, torrential rains and rising sea levels.
Food insecurity, water shortages, increased mortality, facilitation of disease transmission, population displacements: the damage is immense and affects the poorest populations in particular, who have limited means to cope with the effects of the disruption. climatic. Now nearly half of humanity lives in “contexts highly vulnerable to climate change”according to the report.
It would be irresponsible to take this summary as just one more report while waiting for the next one. By the next edition, probably around 2030, the game will be over. If the objective of keeping global warming at 1.5°C seems more and more difficult to achieve, writing it off is not an option. Each hundredth of a degree less grabbed, each gain in terms of greenhouse gas emissions will be so many exceptional climatic events, so much damage, so much irreversible damage avoided. When this 1.5°C target was set in 2015, in the Paris agreement, the challenge was immense. The problem is that in eight years it has increased further.
Meeting it requires a real international leap forward, where each country must feel responsible for the share of efforts it can make. This notably involves bringing into line the reduction in the use of fossil fuels, which are responsible for 80% of CO emissions.2, with climate objectives. Until this logic is put into practice, the goals we set for ourselves will remain unattainable.
At the same time, political decision-makers must tackle a discourse of truth aimed at raising awareness that the way of life of the past decades will not be reproducible in the coming years. There is an urgent need to rethink cities, to modify one’s diet, to travel differently and generally to consume less. These challenges must be seen as grounds for hope, as proof that we still have the means to act. The most dangerous thing would be to project oneself into an inevitability of the worst.
Source: Le Monde