30 Years of IPCC, 24 years of UNFCCC - a lost generation in the fight to stop fossil fuels and ring in the renewable age
The concluded Conference of the Parties (COP) in Katowice, and its background papers and declarations. confirmed that IPCC consensus driven science has been far too conservative in its projections, and that the UNFCCC COP process - while necessary in the absence of alternatives - has increasingly served to falsely assuage fears and placate the coal, oil, gas and nuclear lobbies.
The aim cannot be to limit temperature increase to 'below 2 C degrees' - the target must be 0 degree warming. The catastropic Arctic meltdown and heatwaves were triggered already at 0.8 C degree warming over preindustrial levels. This means the aim must be below-zero emission reductions by reaching full renewable energy supply as soon as possible while regenerating biospheric capacities to absorb the mounting bubble of excess atmospheric greenhouse gases above 280 ppm CO2.
This is no time for denial or resignation but for massive and unwavering action. The WCRE calls for a regenerative emergency action plan, entirely unprecedented in extent and speed. These are not normal times; extraordinary measures have to be taken:
1. Massive and immediate mobilization of renewable energy systems locally, nationally and globally, to provide 100 % of thermal, electric and transport energy from renewable sources as quickly as possible.
2. Emergency ending of all coal mining and coal burning world-wide.
3. Emergency pursuit of petroleum reduction and complete replacement throughout all local, national and world economies.
4. Drastic reduction of meat in global consumption, and replacing it with a plant based diet, to end the wholesale destruction of emissions managing ecosystems by resource-intensive and inefficient meat production.
5. Extraction of CO2 from the atmosphere now oversaturated with greenhouse gas, by
- massive afforestation and wetland regeneration programs on all continents, and an immediate stop to the clearing of rainforests;
- raising of organic humus content in parkland and agricultural soils;
- replacement of industrial agriculture with organic farming practices;
- replacement of organic waste combustion through composting and carbonization, to help reduce emissions and enhance biological carbon sequestration in soil;
- rapid expansion of CO2 extraction from the atmosphere and its long-term embedding in carbon material in the building, consumer product, automotive and other material intensive industries;
6. Decommissioning of all nuclear power plants and terminations of new construction programs. Nuclear power is on a natural path to self-termination and delivers only a few percentiles in global final energy supply. The remaining and inexorably dying fleet poses enormous human health, environmental, security and economic risks, while being seriously compromised by mounting climate risks in safe operation and maintenance. Nuclear power also absorbs an enormous amount of financial resources away from vital renewable energy infrastructures.
The WCRE and EUROSOLAR call for the immediate embrace of these measures, in public policy, national and international action agendas, and through local and regional voluntary action.
Bonn, 17 December 2018
Professor Peter Droege
General Chairman, WCRE