[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (2)
    • Announcements (588)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (31)
    • Antimicrobial (11)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (26)
    • Bats (6)
    • Beneficials (43)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (26)
    • Biomonitoring (36)
    • Birds (17)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (27)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (9)
    • Children (66)
    • Children/Schools (230)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (9)
    • Climate Change (62)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (2)
    • contamination (120)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (13)
    • Drift (4)
    • Drinking Water (3)
    • Ecosystem Services (3)
    • Emergency Exemption (2)
    • Environmental Justice (142)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (349)
    • Events (82)
    • Farm Bill (11)
    • Farmworkers (160)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (2)
    • Fungicides (15)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (3)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (14)
    • Holidays (31)
    • Household Use (6)
    • Indigenous People (1)
    • Infectious Disease (2)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (62)
    • Invasive Species (33)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (225)
    • Litigation (324)
    • Livestock (6)
    • Metabolites (3)
    • Microbiata (15)
    • Microbiome (16)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (386)
    • Occupational Health (5)
    • Pesticide Drift (145)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (3)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (2)
    • Pesticide Regulation (716)
    • Pesticide Residues (163)
    • Pets (28)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Poisoning (4)
    • Preemption (26)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (2)
    • Resistance (102)
    • Rights-of-Way (1)
    • Rodenticide (29)
    • Seeds (3)
    • synergistic effects (8)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (9)
    • Take Action (529)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (6)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (411)
    • Women’s Health (11)
    • Wood Preservatives (32)
    • World Health Organization (6)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Daily News Blog

08
Apr

Broken Promises, Empty Pledges Leading to Irreversible Climate Disaster: UN Says It’s Now or Never

(Beyond Pesticides, April 8, 2022) “The jury has reached a verdict. And it is damning. This report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a litany of broken climate promises. It is a file of shame, cataloguing the empty pledges that put us firmly on track towards an unlivable world. We are on a fast track to climate disaster.” These words came from United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement responding to the latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report released on April 4. As a Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog headline virtually shouted in October 2021, “Climate Crisis, Soil, Pesticides, Fertilizers: Red alert! This is Not a Drill!”

This IPCC report — Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change — is the third and final part of the panel’s latest review of climate science. It is informed by the work of thousands of scientists, and follows on the first two of the trio of reports that comprise the comprehensive Sixth Assessment Report. The first, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, from the IPCC Working Group I, was released on August 9, 2021. The second, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, from Working Group II, was issued on February 28, 2022. (Readers: please note that these reports are very long, but that there are, for each, multiple [and perhaps more-digestible] downloadable documents that address specific aspects or sections.)

As The Guardian reports, “IPCC reports take about seven years to compile, making this [third report] potentially the last warning before the world is set irrevocably on a path to climate breakdown.” The co-chair of Working Group III, which generated this final report, is Jim Skea, PhD, a professor at Imperial College London. His comment to The Guardian was this: “It’s now or never if we want to limit global warming to 1.5C. Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.”

The report itself indicates that the planet is nearly inevitably going to crash through that 1.5°C barrier — the degree of temperature increase (above pre-industrial levels) above which many impacts of climate breakdown will likely become irreversible. The report adds that it might be possible to bring temperatures down below that mark by the end of this century, but that achieving this could require carbon-removal (or “carbon capture”) technologies that are currently unproven and, in any case, cannot be a substitute for immediate and large emissions reductions.

According to The Guardian’s reporting, Secretary-General Gutteres expanded on his charges of broken promises and empty pledges in saying that some governments and corporations, which may claim to be “on track” to meet goals that would help limit temperature increase to the 1.5°C mark (agreed to in 2015’s Paris Agreement) are outright lying. “Some government and business leaders are saying one thing — but doing another. Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic. This is a climate emergency.”

The Secretary-General’s statement also noted that participating countries left 2021’s COP26 (the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in Glasgow with new promises and commitments, but continued to ignore the elephant in the global living room. That behemoth is “the enormous, growing emissions gap. . . . The science is clear: to keep the 1.5°C limit . . . we need to cut global emissions by 45 per cent this decade. . . . But, current climate pledges would mean a 14 percent increase in emissions. And most major emitters are not taking the steps needed to fulfil even these inadequate promises. Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels. Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.”

Among the findings in this third report, which focuses on cutting greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), are these:

  • coal must be effectively and rapidly phased out if the world is to stay within 1.5C°
  • currently planned new fossil fuel infrastructure would push the average global temperature increase past that 1.5°C limit
  • methane emissions must be reduced by one-third
  • growing forests and preserving soils’ carbon holding capacity is necessary, but planting more trees will be inadequate to compensate for continued fossil fuel emissions
  • globally, investment in the transition to a low-carbon world is a mere one-sixth of what it needs to be
  • all sectors of the global economy (energy generation, transportation, buildings [which use energy for heating and cooling], and food production) must change dramatically and rapidly
  • new technologies, such as hydrogen fuels and so-called “carbon capture” and storage will be needed

Secretary-General Guterres elaborated on the scientists’ findings in his statement, asserting that (1) the world must triple the speed of the transition to use of renewable energy, (2) governments must stop subsidizing fossil fuels, and (3) regular folks across the planet must demand renewable energy “at speed and at scale.”

During climate talks and conferences of the past several years, a schism has emerged between the so-called “developed” countries, which have used fossil fuels for a century and a half to develop their economies and build wealth, and the so-called “developing” countries, which are less well-resourced and have undertaken such activity on a more-recent timetable. Part of the discussion has been the insistence by some less-wealthy countries that they, too, are entitled to develop — even through use of fossil fuels, as the more well-resourced countries have done for decades.

Many of these smaller and poorer countries are also on the frontlines of current and coming, and often devastating, climate impacts. These equity arguments run right up against the physics of climate change and where things stand: the planet cannot afford any more fossil fuel use. The commonsense solution, according to many environmental and justice advocates, is for wealthier nations to cough up the funds to finance sustainable energy infrastructure and capacity (and other relevant socioeconomic initiatives) in poorer countries.

To date, this has not been hugely palatable to some wealthy countries, and even some of those who have pledged such funds have failed to deliver on their promises. Indeed, the publication of this third report was delayed (though only by a matter of hours) as eleventh-hour arguments ensued between scientists, who lead the writing of IPCC reports, and government representatives, who have “input” on final messaging in the policymaker summary. The Guardian reports that some governments, including China, India, and Saudi Arabia challenged messaging on phasing out fossil fuels, and on financing emissions-reduction initiatives in less well-resourced countries. Ultimately, all 195 governments involved concurred on the final policymaker summary.

Chair of the “least developed” countries group at the UN climate talks, Madeleine Diouf Sarr, said: “There can be no new fossil fuel infrastructure. The emissions from existing and planned infrastructure alone are higher than scenarios consistent with limiting warming to 1.5C with no or limited overshoot. We cannot afford to lock in the use of fossil fuels.” Rounding out the equity point, Exeter University’s professor emerita of energy policy, Catherine Mitchell, said that the needs of the poorest countries must be prioritized: “Unless we have social justice, there are not going to be more accelerated greenhouse gas reductions. These issues are tied together.”

The production of food through agriculture and livestock husbandry is a significant part of the climate picture. The IPCC report’s Summary for Policymakers notes that in 2019, 22% of total net anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions could be attributed to agriculture, forestry, and other land uses (referred to as “AFOLU”). It goes on to say, in Section C (System Transformations to Limit Global Warming), that mitigation options in the AFOLU sector “can deliver large-scale GHG emission reductions and enhanced removals, but cannot fully compensate for delayed action in other sectors.” The summary also notes that sustainably sourced agricultural products (such as those permitted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program) can be used instead of more GHG intensive products, such as synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

It also calls out the importance, on the “demand” side in agriculture, of “sustainable healthy diets” that “promote all dimensions of individuals’ health and wellbeing; have low environmental pressure and impact; [and] are accessible, affordable, safe, and equitable.” Those diets are defined as those featuring “plant-based foods, such as those based on coarse grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and animal-sourced food produced in resilient, sustainable, and low-GHG emission systems.”

Such foods and such systems characterize the organic approaches that Beyond Pesticides promotes because they are safer than conventional agriculture and its products for both health and environment; they enhance soil health, with all the co-benefits that attend that, including increased carbon storage capacity; they do not rely on petrochemical inputs that have embedded GHGs; and they do not contaminate organisms (e.g., pollinators) and natural resources.

A critical aspect of the transition in food production must be the shift off of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and to organic regenerative production. Beyond Pesticides wrote, in October 2021, “All of the work done by Beyond Pesticides and others — on the importance of moving agriculture and land management systems away from conventional, chemical-intensive approaches (via synthetic pesticides and fertilizers) and to organic practices — happens within the meta-context of the climate emergency, and is not unrelated.”

The article discusses the “contributions” of conventional agriculture’s use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and of factory farms and CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) — which send large amounts of methane into the atmosphere — to the climate emergency. It also points, yet again, to the urgent need to eliminate fossil fuel–based pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture and land management, and put in place an urgent and strategic transition to organic practices.

On all fronts, across all sectors, and in every country on Earth: there is zero time to waste in making the transition off of fossil fuels. Secretary-General Guterres said it forcefully: “Choices made by countries now will make or break the commitment to 1.5°C. A shift to renewables will mend our broken global energy mix and offer hope to millions of people suffering climate impacts today. Climate promises and plans must be turned into reality and action, now. It is time to stop burning our planet and start investing in the abundant renewable energy all around us.”

Sources: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/04/ipcc-report-now-or-never-if-world-stave-off-climate-disaster and https://www.un.org/press/en/2022/sgsm21228.doc.htm

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

 

 

Share

Leave a Reply

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (2)
    • Announcements (588)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (31)
    • Antimicrobial (11)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (26)
    • Bats (6)
    • Beneficials (43)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (26)
    • Biomonitoring (36)
    • Birds (17)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (27)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (9)
    • Children (66)
    • Children/Schools (230)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (9)
    • Climate Change (62)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (2)
    • contamination (120)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (13)
    • Drift (4)
    • Drinking Water (3)
    • Ecosystem Services (3)
    • Emergency Exemption (2)
    • Environmental Justice (142)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (349)
    • Events (82)
    • Farm Bill (11)
    • Farmworkers (160)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (2)
    • Fungicides (15)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (3)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (14)
    • Holidays (31)
    • Household Use (6)
    • Indigenous People (1)
    • Infectious Disease (2)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (62)
    • Invasive Species (33)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (225)
    • Litigation (324)
    • Livestock (6)
    • Metabolites (3)
    • Microbiata (15)
    • Microbiome (16)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (386)
    • Occupational Health (5)
    • Pesticide Drift (145)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (3)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (2)
    • Pesticide Regulation (716)
    • Pesticide Residues (163)
    • Pets (28)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Poisoning (4)
    • Preemption (26)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (2)
    • Resistance (102)
    • Rights-of-Way (1)
    • Rodenticide (29)
    • Seeds (3)
    • synergistic effects (8)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (9)
    • Take Action (529)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (6)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (411)
    • Women’s Health (11)
    • Wood Preservatives (32)
    • World Health Organization (6)
  • Most Viewed Posts