By Lise Alves, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – The world must take drastic steps by the end of 2020 to avoid increasing natural disasters due to climate change, say environmentalists and climate change observers.
“The next eighteen months will see critical meetings that will collectively determine the global agenda for the coming decade,” warned Charles, the Prince of Wales, one of those adept to the ‘shorter deadline’.
During his speech at a Reception for Commonwealth Foreign Ministers last month, the UK royal issued a strong warning to international leaders: they have just eighteen months to take the steps required to halt climate change.
He noted that countries had to limit climate change to survivable levels and to restore nature to its point of equilibrium
Last year, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that to keep global temperatures increase below 1.5 Celsius this century, emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be reduced by 45 percent by 2030.
The 1.5 Celsius rise limit was determined by scientists as the ‘safe’ limit of global warming so that the world would not feel the drastic effects of climate change.
The 2018 IPCC report provided scientific evidence that global warming above 1.5 Celsius would seriously endanger communities around the world and called for a drastic transformation of natural resource use by humans, including halting most fossil-fuel usage.
To ensure that the limit will be met, the United Nations’ entity issued guidelines and goals to be met by nations within the next eleven years. But now there is a growing consensus that drastic steps must be taken within the next eighteen months.
And according to environmentalists until the end of 2020 there will be important meetings held around the world to discuss climate change and its effects.
The first of these ‘critical meetings’ is expected to be the UN’s Climate Action Summit, scheduled to be held in New York on September 23rd.
The objective of the Summit, according to the entity, is to accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and showcase ‘a leap in collective national political ambition which will demonstrate massive movements in the real economy in support of the agenda’.
The UN hopes that these developments will send strong market and political signals and inject the needed momentum in companies, cities and civil society that is needed to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Summit will be followed by COP25 in Santiago, Chile, in December, where the most important achievement will likely be keeping the process moving forward.
The really big conference within these next eighteen months, however, is likely to be COP26, which takes place at the end of 2020. There, major pacts and agreements are expected to be signed to push further ahead a sustainable climate agenda.
Since the UN Paris Climate meeting in 2015 there has some positive signs that communities and groups are rising up demanding action and government policies to curb the effects of climate change.
Students have protested, cities have banned hazardous and non-degradable materials and communities are now discussing economic and social solutions to curb the effects of climate change.
Officials now hope that these scheduled global meetings will further the sustainable agenda.