Among the many dramatic ways society must transform to limit the worst effects of climate change, the world is only moving fast enough on one of them — the uptake of electric vehicles, according to a new report from seven climate organizations looking at 42 indicators of climate progress.
On the other 41 points of transformation, change is either too slow, too hard to measure, or going in the wrong direction. For example, the global rate of deforestation ticked up last year. The carbon intensity of steel production is increasing when it needs to be falling. Government financing for fossil fuels has risen for the first time since 2018.
While the takeaway is familiar — that the world is well shy of its stated goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels — the State of Climate Action report provides a detailed diagnosis of the factors leading the planet astray. Those factors touch on almost every aspect of life, from how power is generated, how people commute, how food is produced, how buildings function and how readily finance flows to developing countries.
“We are woefully off track,” said Kelly Levin, the chief of science, data and systems change at the Bezos Earth Fund, one of the groups involved in the research. (The fund was created by Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post.)
The 42 indicators are not formally written into the Paris agreement, but were instead derived by the nonprofit organizations, which analyzed how various sectors would need to transform by 2030 to meet the 1.5 goal. Using similar methods last year, the groups found that the world was off track on every count. [Continue reading…]