Back in the home stretch of the 2020 presidential election, I stated that a second Trump term would be “game over for the climate.” That hasn’t changed in the years since. In fact, it’s become even more true.
We are three years further down the carbon emissions highway, and the devastating consequences of the 1C (1.8F) warming we have already caused are now apparent in the form of unprecedented dangerous, damaging and deadly extreme weather events. As yet, we have not taken the exit ramp needed to avoid a far worse planetary warming of 1.5C (3F).
Yes, real progress has been made during the Biden era, with “staggering” green energy growth nearly on track to reach the needed reductions in carbon emissions in the power generation sector. But power generation is only a slice of the carbon emissions pie, responsible for about one-fifth of total carbon emissions. The rest comes from transportation, industry, agriculture and buildings. And collectively, we are not meeting the targets, including a 50 percent reduction in worldwide carbon emissions by 2030 and zero emissions by 2050, required to limit warming to 1.5C/3F.
There is, once again, some good news. The COP26 international climate summit of 2021 in Glasgow yielded enough progress to limit warming below 2C (3.6F) if all pledges are met and met on time.
Promises are nice. But they must be kept. And they have not been as yet. [Continue reading…]