Statement of Nathaniel Keohane
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
August 9, 2021
On the findings of the Working Group I Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):
“The IPCC report depicts a planet in crisis: one already dramatically affected by human activity, with a climate that will go haywire if we do not respond urgently and immediately. From unprecedented heat waves in the Pacific northwest of the United States, deadly flooding in northern Europe and China, to wildfires in Greece and Turkey, the impacts of a little over 1 degree Celsius of global warming is already evident across every region of the globe. A future of more intense and more frequent heatwaves, heavy precipitation, and severe drought, along with stronger hurricanes and dramatic rises in sea level, is the one that awaits us, and even more our children and grandchildren, if we continue on our current course. The actions we take – or fail to take – now and in the coming decade, to cut climate pollution and build greater resilience to the climate change that is already irreversible, will reverberate for generations.
“Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees or even 2 degrees Celsius will not be easy, and meeting the challenge will require global leadership, as well as ambition at the federal, state, and local levels. But we already know the path. Policymakers must collaborate closely with the private sector to develop and deploy every available policy and technological solution. Carbon pricing and other policies to cut climate pollution across the economy, investments in a range of technologies including carbon capture and carbon dioxide removal, resources to help communities adapt to a changing climate — every available tool must be employed to deal with the climate emergency we face.
“This must be an all-in effort. As the world comes together at COP26 this November, all countries – and in particular the leading global economies responsible for 80 percent of global emissions – have a responsibility to act. Those G20 countries that have yet to do so must make good on their recent promise to come forward with more ambitious 2030 targets and commitments to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions. And rich countries must make good on their promise to provide climate finance for those in need. The imperative for leadership has never been greater.”
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About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.