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  • Writer's pictureKarina Paul

Why is keeping 1.5 degree Celsius alive so important?

Updated: Jun 22

It is of utmost importance to maintain the 1.5°C goal to safeguard our health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth. Experts have emphasised that any temperature increase beyond this limit poses significant risks. Therefore, it is imperative that we limit temperature increases as much as possible. The 1.5°C threshold is much safer for the world compared to the previously agreed-upon 2°C threshold. To ensure the attainment of the 1.5°C goal, the global community must take prompt and resolute action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero.

The limit of 1.5°C is based on scientific research that highlights the potential impacts of global warming at varying temperature thresholds. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that a temperature increase of 2°C would have catastrophic consequences, such as heightened frequency and severity of heatwaves, droughts, and floods, which would disproportionately affect vulnerable communities. In contrast, limiting global warming to 1.5°C would help to mitigate the risks of climate change and its impacts. While a 1.5°C increase would still cause some climate changes, they would be less severe than at higher temperatures.

Furthermore, limiting global warming to 1.5°C would provide more time for societies to adapt to the changes that are already occurring, such as sea level rise and ocean acidification. The importance of maintaining the 1.5°C goal was underscored in the 2015 Paris Agreement, where countries pledged to pursue efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. However, current greenhouse gas emission trends suggest that the world is on track to surpass this limit, making it crucial to accelerate efforts to reduce emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy.

It is crucial to achieve the 1.5 degree goal in order to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change and protect the planet and its inhabitants. There are several reasons why achieving this goal is of utmost importance.

Firstly, vulnerable communities, such as low-income populations, Indigenous peoples, and coastal communities, are disproportionately affected by climate change. Achieving the 1.5 degree goal would help to reduce the risks of climate change and its impacts on these communities.

Secondly, climate change is causing significant damage to ecosystems and biodiversity, which could have irreversible consequences. Achieving the 1.5 degree goal would help to reduce the risks of ecosystem collapse and preserve biodiversity.

Thirdly, climate change is already affecting food production and food security, which could have devastating consequences for global food systems. Achieving the 1.5 degree goal would help to reduce the risks of crop failures, droughts, and other climate-related impacts on food systems. Fourthly, climate change is causing more frequent and severe extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts, floods, and storms, which can have serious impacts on communities. Achieving the 1.5 degree goal would help to reduce the risks of these events and their impacts. Lastly, climate change could trigger irreversible tipping points, such as the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet or the Amazon rainforest, which could have catastrophic consequences. Achieving the 1.5 degree goal would help to reduce the risks of these tipping points and their potentially irreversible consequences.

To achieve the 1.5 degree goal in climate change, there are numerous strategies that can be pursued. Here are some examples:

1. Rapidly transitioning to renewable energy: One of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to shift to clean, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. This requires considerable investment in renewable energy infrastructure and policies that encourage the adoption of clean energy technologies.

2. Improving energy efficiency: Another way to cut greenhouse gas emissions is to boost energy efficiency in buildings, transportation, and industry. This can be achieved through measures such as building codes, appliance standards, and incentives for energy-efficient technologies.

3. Investing in carbon capture and storage: Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industrial processes and power generation. This involves capturing carbon dioxide emissions and storing them underground or using them for industrial processes.

4. Reducing deforestation and promoting reforestation: Deforestation is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so reducing deforestation and promoting reforestation can help to mitigate climate change. This requires policies that safeguard forests and support sustainable land use practices.

5. Implementing carbon pricing: Carbon pricing policies, such as carbon taxes or cap-and-trade systems, can help to incentivize the shift to low-carbon technologies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This requires political will and cooperation to implement effective policies.

To safeguard vulnerable communities, protect biodiversity, ensure food security, and prevent extreme weather events and irreversible tipping points, achieving the 1.5 degree goal is crucial. This necessitates prompt measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move towards a sustainable, low-carbon economy. To achieve this goal, we need to deploy a range of tactics, such as shifting to renewable energy, enhancing energy efficiency, investing in carbon capture and storage, decreasing deforestation, and implementing carbon pricing policies. These tactics demand political resolve, substantial investments, and global cooperation.

Therefore, at Zerogram our mission is to keep the target of 1.5 degrees alive by enabling rapid decarbonisation of large estates. Let's collaborate across individuals, businesses, communities and nations to achieve this critical target.

-By, Karina Rachel Paul.

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