We figure we have until December 2015 to safeguard the future. Here's what we're picturing:
5 TELL THE WHOLE WORLD
Start now. Encourage all ENGOs (as well as human rights, development, and public health NGOs) to mount a massive education / agitation campaign. Educate about RCP2.6 and CAN International’s position statement (see below). Help everyone in the world understand the climate emergency and that there are simple yet powerful solutions (see below). And then encourage everyone to apply pressure to their own governments. Get everyone calling for an emergency zero-carbon global agreement in Paris (see below).
4 IN NEW YORK, DEMAND THAT GOVERNMENTS DECLARE THE CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY
New York is the place to be this September. In every way possible, let's urge attendees at the NYC September 20-21, 2014 People's Climate March to call for a DECLARATION that CLIMATE CHANGE is an EMERGENCY. And in every way we can think of, let's urge all government representatives and negotiators at UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Climate Summit 2014: Catalyzing Action to declare the emergency.
Once governments declare that we are “beyond dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change), things will start to happen. This declaration would be an automatic trigger for the bureaucrats who work underneath politicians and within governments to start working on climate change solutions. Scientists say that determining whether climate change is an emergency is a value judgement that society must make. So let's make it! We're society. Let's get the CLIMATE EMERGENCY DECLARED!
3 FOR THE LIMA CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE (COP20 in December 2014), DEMAND THAT NEGOTIATORS ADOPT THE IPCC's RCP2.6 SCENARIO + the CAN INTERNATIONAL POSITION STATEMENT
The essential text of the all-important 2015 Paris agreement will be determined in Lima, Peru this year. The best-case IPCC scenario (which is all that government negotiators can work with), one that can possibly keep us below a catastrophic 2ºC rise in global temperatures, is called RCP2.6. (RCP stands for Representative Carbon Pathway, but I think it really means REALLY COOL PLAN!) Let's start calling now for adoption of RCP2.6 PLUS these important new Climate Action Network (CAN) International positions:
•sharp declines in GHG emissions starting 2015 (RCP2.6 has emissions starting to decline in 2020, but really, folks, we're already out of time)
•reaching zero carbon emissions by 2050, specifically by transformation of all fossil fuel energy to clean renewable energy (RCP2.6 does not go far enough to save our butts)
•limit warming to 1.5ºC (not the deadly 2ºC "target")
2 CALL FOR THE END OF FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES AND PUT A PRICE ON CARBON (by the December 2015 COP21 in Paris)
Governments "give" $1.9 trillion every year in direct and indirect subsidies to fossil fuel corporations. Direct subsidies must be switched to perpetual energy technologies. Period. Especially in developing nations to help them "leapfrog" over fossil fuel dependence. We also need to demand an economic shift that will make fossil fuel companies pay for their $1.4 trillion every year in economic externalities (indirect subsidies or "mispricing").
We need to charge a FEE on CARBON EMISSIONS to pay for their health and environmental costs and to help offset the transition to the Solar Age. This "price" on carbon can be applied to promoting the use of safer, cleaner, healthier, more equitable and more peaceful perpetual energy technologies ("perpetual" means renewable without biomass burning technologies, since burning emits carbon). This carbon fee will signal the market overnight, and investments will be switched to renewables.
1 IN PARIS, GET THE MOST IMPORTANT AGREEMENT IN THE WORLD SIGNED
“Though a great many obstacles remain in the path of this essential agreement, I am among the growing number of people who are allowing themselves to become more optimistic than ever that a bold and comprehensive pact may well emerge from the Paris negotiations late next year, which many regard as the last chance to avoid civilizational catastrophe while there is still time.” — Al Gore
0 ACHIEVE ZERO CARBON by 2050
Post Paris, we need to immediately begin a rapid decline in greenhouse gas emissions. And then we need to continue that decline for decades, until we reach zero carbon emissions by 2050 … and safeguard the future.