"Amid the triple crisis of the war in Ukraine, the still-raging pandemic and
escalating inflation, climate scientists have just pulled off a truly
impressive achievement. They have stood firm and persuaded the world’s
governments to agree to a common guide to solving the climate emergency.
Despite the despair of mounting global problems, the release of the latest
report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows some grounds
After the recent reports on the causes and effects of climate change, this one
covers solutions – with a summary signed off by the world’s governments. The
summary is blunt and clear, and in many places acknowledges realities that
scientists and campaigners have known for years but governments often avoided
First, it is clearly acknowledged that North America and Europe have made the
greatest contribution to the crisis we are living through, by producing by far
the most carbon dioxide emissions since the industrial revolution.
The report shows that today the average North American emits 16 tonnes of
carbon dioxide each year from fossil fuel use, compared to just 2 tonnes for
the average African. Consumption by the top 10% of households comprises over a
third of global of greenhouse gases, compared to 15% of these gases for the
bottom 50% of households. Every government now agrees that the climate crisis
is driven by how the world’s wealthy – which includes much of the UK’s
population – currently live, consume and invest.
This is a major leap forward compared to previous reports. The last IPCC
summary on solutions in 2014 labelled population growth as one of “the most
important drivers of increases in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion”.
Such dangerous misunderstandings are now gone. Seven years on, these old “blame
the poor” arguments increasingly seem like a relic of a previous age."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics