Earth League and Future Earth have released a set of statements called “The 10 Science ‘Must Knows’ on Climate Change” at the Bonn Climate Change Conference.
The statements summarise key scientific insights relating to the Paris Agreement and economic and policy options that would help reach its goals, and are intended to provide climate negotiators, policy makers, and business leaders with an evidence-based briefing to advance solutions for a manageable climate future.
The statements, each of which is accompanied by supporting scientific information, are as follows:
Where do we stand?
Evidence shows that Earth has entered a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – with profound implications for humanity and the relative stability of the Earth system.
Earth is approaching tipping points due to human pressures.
Risks of extreme weather are increasing.
Rising sea levels and ocean acidification are growing threats.
Why should we care?
5. The costs of climate change are already being felt today and will increase in the future.
6. Human health is at risk from air pollutants that alter the climate, and the impacts of a changing climate, which are decreasing food security and increasing the risks of disease and heat stress.
7. Climate change is likely to exacerbate the risk of large-scale migration and civil unrest.
How can we avoid dangerous impacts?
8. The world needs to act faster: deeper cuts are needed to reduce risk of global average temperature rising 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. A pathway of halving global emissions every decade is consistent with this goal.
9. Analyses suggest that it is possible for the world to meet Paris Agreement targets if nation states cooperate and coordinate mitigation efforts. Carbon pricing is an important policy tool that would create substantial revenues amounting to potentially several percent of GDP.
10. Adaptation and resilience building are necessary even if the world succeeds with aggressive international action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.