Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Commonwealth Science Bodies Urge Climate Action in Unprecedented Plea

Climate
NASA / Kathryn Hansen

Scientific organizations from Commonwealth nations around the world have come together for the first time to urge governments to act on climate change.

The "Consensus Statement on Climate Change"—issued Monday ahead of next month's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the United Kingdom—is an unprecedented plea signed by the heads of 22 national academies and scientific societies that represent tens of thousands of scientists in Australia, India, Canada, New Zealand, Bangladesh, South Africa, the UK, Pakistan and more.


"The world's climate is changing, and the impacts are already being observed. Changing agricultural conditions, ocean warming and acidification, rising sea levels, and increased frequency and intensity of many extreme weather events are impacting infrastructure, environmental assets and human health," the statement reads.

"Avoiding the worst impacts of climate change will require concerted global action to reduce atmospheric carbon."

The scientists call on governments to limit warming to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, a target established by the landmark Paris climate agreement.

"Meeting this target will require achieving net-zero global greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of the century followed by active decarbonization of the atmosphere," the letter states.

Failure to meet this target could result in global catastrophe, the experts warn.

"Even if all countries meet their current commitments to greenhouse gas emission reductions, a global temperature rise of more than 3°C above pre-industrial levels is projected by 2100 according to current data," they write. "This would lead to profound impacts affecting billions of people throughout the world."

"This challenge needs to be addressed now, and the efforts required will bring enduring social, environmental and economic benefits and opportunities."

The academies of the Commonwealth says it is prepared to provide active support and sound scientific advice to governments on issues relating to climate change.

Oxford geoscientist Alex Halliday, the vice president of The Royal Society of London, talks about the joint statement in the video below:

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An aerial view of a crude oil storage facility of Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) in the Krasnodar Territory. Vitaly Timkiv / TASS / Getty Images

Oil rigs around the world keep pulling crude oil out of the ground, but the global pandemic has sent shockwaves into the market. The supply is up, but demand has plummeted now that industry has ground to a halt, highways are empty, and airplanes are parked in hangars.

Read More Show Less
Examples (from left) of a lead pipe, a corroded steel pipe and a lead pipe treated with protective orthophosphate. U.S. EPA Region 5

Under an agreement negotiated by community groups — represented by NRDC and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project — the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will remove thousands of lead water pipes by 2026 in order to address the chronically high lead levels in the city's drinking water and protect residents' health.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

By Dave Cooke

So, they finally went and did it — the Trump administration just finalized a rule to undo requirements on manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks. Even with the economy at the brink of a recession, they went forward with a policy they know is bad for consumers — their own analysis shows that American drivers are going to spend hundreds of dollars more in fuel as a result of this stupid policy — but they went ahead and did it anyway.

Read More Show Less

By Richard Connor

A blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer could help doctors treat patients at an earlier stage than previously possible, a new study shows. The method was used to screen for more than 50 types of cancer — including particularly deadly variants such as pancreatic, ovarian, bowel and brain.

Read More Show Less
Ian Sane / Flickr

Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control showed a larger number of young people coming down with COVID-19 than first expected, with patients under the age of 45 comprising more than a third of all cases, and one in five of those patients requiring hospitalization. That also tends to be the group most likely to use e-cigarettes.

Read More Show Less