New study says earth has just 5% chance of reaching Paris climate goal, but why the collective impact of business could make the difference
Researchers find that economic, emissions and population trends point to very small chance earth will avoid warming more than 2 Degrees Celsius by century’s end, according to a study recently published in Nature Climate Change.
According to the University of Washington which led the study, there is a 90% likelihood that temperatures will rise between 2 Degrees Celsius and 4.9 Degrees Celsius, by 2100. As such, this refutes the most optimistic and pessimistic outcome, instead seeing temperatures climb nearly 6C beyond the pre-industrial era. Adrian Raftery, a University of Washington academic who led the research, explained, “If we want to avoid 2C, we have very little time left. The public should be very concerned.” His concern over the gravity of the situation is fully understandable; this study follows hard on the heels of Donald Trump’s decision In June to remove the USA from the Paris Accord, which cast a shadow over the fulfilment of the Accord without American involvement.
But I think it’s important to remember that we give context do this story by remembering some key issues that have been rumbling away in the background: since Trump’s announcement, companies and brand leaders are now doubling down on their individual commitments to the planet, whilst at the same time also expressing concern about the US administration. Apple’s Tim Cook and Tesla’s Elon Musk have both made their positions very clear. And Goldman Sachs CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, actually stood up to Trump’s decision in his very first tweet on 1st June:-
The study published in Nature Climate, and others like it which are sure to be collated and launched any time soon, will motivate the private sector to take unprecedented steps. And that’s precisely what is necessary: companies to take action on climate change in the wake of the Paris Accord. Following Trump’s withdrawal announcement, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg submitted a statement to the United Nations that over 1,000 U.S. governors, mayors, businesses and universities and others, will all continue to meet the goals of the Paris agreement.
Companies and brands now have the chance to demonstrate sustainability leadership and how, just like their consumers and stakeholders, they value the planet. And it is the collective impact of business which will serve as catalyst to combat climate change.
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