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by Global Climate Change Week category: Environment
We need your help! Academics from around the world have signed an Open Letter to world leaders which calls for strong and urgent action at the Paris UNFCCC meeting. This thunderclap will release the night before the talks begin in Paris, to let the negotiators know that the world is watching them. Our experts are demanding stronger action and our leaders should respect their advice. Everyone is welcome to join the Thunderclap.
Below is a reproduction of the Open Letter.
Some issues are of such ethical magnitude that being on the correct side of history becomes a signifier of moral character for generations to come. Global warming is such an issue. Indigenous peoples and the developing world are least responsible for climate change, least able to adapt to it, and most vulnerable to its impacts. As the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris approaches, the leaders of the industrialized world shoulder a grave responsibility for the consequences of our current and past carbon emissions.
Yet it looks unlikely that the international community will mandate even the greenhouse gas reductions necessary to give us a two thirds chance of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. At the moment, even if countries meet their current non-binding pledges to reduce carbon emissions, we will still be on course to reach 3 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. This is profoundly shocking, given that any sacrifice involved in making those reductions is far overshadowed by the catastrophes we are likely to face if we do not: more extinctions of species and loss of ecosystems; increasing vulnerability to storm surges; more heatwaves; more intense precipitation; more climate related deaths and disease; more climate refugees; slower poverty reduction; less food security; and more conflicts worsened by these factors. Given such high stakes, our leaders ought to be mustering planet-wide mobilization, at all societal levels, to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
We undersigned concerned academics, researchers, and scientists from around the world recognize the seriousness of our environmental situation and the special responsibility we owe our communities, future generations, and our fellow species. We will strive to meet that responsibility in our educational and communicative endeavors. We call upon our leaders to do what is necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change. With just as much urgency, we call upon our fellow citizens to hold their leaders responsible for vigorously addressing global warming.
View the list of signatories here
Global Climate Change Week
Global Climate Change Week is a new initiative designed to encourage academics in all disciplines and countries to engage with their students and communities on climate change action and solutions.