The high cost of climate change is largely carried by some of the most vulnerable communities around the world. They suffer from enduring human loss, and a need to continuously repair damage from severe weather impacts and rising sea-levels. The repeated infrastructure costs divert investments from education, health and food security, further entrenching poverty and accelerating involuntary migration.
The insurance industry has also warned that if the world goes beyond a 2oc increase, it is not systemically insurable due to the frequency and intensity of extreme weather impacts. Reaching the climate turning point by 2020 will expedite the least expensive transition to a safer fossil-free economy by 2050, protecting the most vulnerable and ushering in a safer economy.
There is a real scientific nervousness that if we exceed 2oC we risk crossing tipping points that would irreversibly trigger self-reinforcing warming and unstoppable human impacts. Humanity’s most important mission is to veer off from this potentially catastrophic road, and transform the world to a thriving, clean, healthy, and sustainable world. We need to bend the global curve of emissions no later than 2020 and reach a fossil-fuel free world economy by 2050. Yes, this is a grand transformation. Is it doable? Yes. Is it a sacrifice? No. The evidence grows day-by-day that a decarbonized world is a more attractive world.”
Prof. Johan Rocktröm
Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre