As I arrived at the Féria de Madrid metro station on the Saturday before the opening of the annual United Nations climate summit (referred to as COP 25), I was struck by the signage in the exit tunnel. “17.2 MILLION PEOPLE LEAVING THEIR HOMES BECAUSE OF CLIMATE DISASTERS IS NOT A CHANGE,” one graphic read. Another said “MIAMI DISAPPEARING UNDER THE SEA IS NOT A CHANGE;” a third read “40% OF THE ANTARCTICA ICE MELTING IS NOT A CHANGE.” All of them had the same tag line next to them: “DON’T CALL IT CHANGE, CALL IT CLIMATE EMERGENCY.” This was my first indication of how intent the Chilean COP 25 presidency was on driving home the theme of the climate summit, “time for action.”
Alden's Latest Posts
September 5, 2019 12:47 PM EDT
Nearly four years after countries adopted the Paris Agreement, it faces the first real test of whether it is fit for purpose: will enough countries step up by the end of next year to increase the ambition of their Paris emissions reduction pledges, as is needed to meet the agreement’s bold temperature increase limitation goals?
The outlook is uncertain–growing public concern about the mounting impacts of climate change and the sharp reductions in the cost of solar, wind and other clean technologies provide political and economic rationales for higher ambition, but President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement and the trade war he has launched with China are creating headwinds against bold action. Read more >
April 30, 2019 4:42 PM EDT
President Trump’s announcement in June 2017 that he intends to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement was both ignorant and irresponsible, placing the interests of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the health and well-being of current and future generations. The Agreement represents an historic consensus among the nations of the world on the urgent need to respond to the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced.
March 18, 2019 9:14 AM EDT
Last Friday, hundreds of thousands of students in the United States and around the world were out in the streets rather than in their classrooms, demanding that our political leaders address the climate crisis with the urgency and focused action that the science so clearly demands. Read more >
October 5, 2018 12:05 PM EDT
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will soon release its special report on the impacts of both a 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius increase in global average temperatures above pre-industrial levels, and on the actions that would be needed to avoid exceeding those temperature limitation goals. The special report will make these dangers abundantly clear; there are substantial differences between temperature increases of 1.5 and 2⁰C when it comes to extreme precipitation and extreme heat. The report will also inform the actions of states, provinces, cities, businesses, and other subnational actors as they develop or strengthen their own emissions limitation commitments. More on that below. Read more >