Social changes will fight against global warming

It makes no sense to limit warming to 1.5 ° C. This is the sad conclusion of a study conducted by a team from the University of Hamburg, which specializes in the study of social and climate dynamics linked to the environment. Their other conclusion concerns the social changes necessary to best mitigate global warming.

According to a report by experts from the University of Hamburg, it is in line with the Paris agreement weatherweather Established in 2015, aiming to limit global warming to +1.5°C is a waste of time. Currently, we are already +1.1°C warmer globally since the late 19th century.e century In France it is +1.7 ° C. Environmental damage accumulates with heat waves, cold snaps, devastating floods or extreme weather events.

At present, little funds have been allocated for this purpose. Because to achieve this, deep changes are needed, and a team of experts from the University of Hamburg analyzed them. named Clicks for Climate, Climate change and society, its composition includes 60 experts from various scientific, economic and social fields. The team has already published a report looking at the decarbonisation of our economy in 2021 and the means to achieve it or, conversely, prevent it. He was encouraging, if not optimistic, and found limiting warming to +1.7°C plausible.

This time, the conclusion is even more frightening: it will be impossible for us to reach the Paris agreement, and it will be almost impossible to stay below +2°C. “Actually, when it comes to climate protection, some things have already been done. movementmovement. But if you take a detailed look at the development of social processes, keeping global warming below +1.5°C is still not convincing.”Professor Anita Engels, teacher of Cliccs, says in a press release.

The political, social and economic environment should be taken into account

To reach this conclusion, the team considered 10 important drivers of social change: UN climate governance, transnational initiatives, climate regulation, climate protests and social movements, climate litigation, fossil fuel divestment, knowledge production, media, corporate response and our consumption patterns. The first seven promote decarbonisation but are insufficient by 2050. The next media is considered binary, serving both the climate cause and its opposite. The last two are holding back decarbonisation: our consumption and companies’ responses.

The researchers also looked at thresholds called “tipping points” that, once crossed, have catastrophic and irreversible consequences for the climate. They specifically refer to ” meltdown permafrostpermafrostAmoc instability (meridian reversal cycle) and the decline of the Amazon rainforest” can affect global warming. Rather, it is caused by rising waters meltingmelting According to the researchers, if the ice affects the environment, it will not directly change the temperature. “The fact is that these terrible tipping points can radically change the conditions of life PlacePlace – but they are irrelevant to meeting the temperature targets of the Paris Agreement.”explains Professor Jochem Marotzke, co-author of Cliccs at the Max-Planck Institute. meteorologymeteorology.

It remains to consider the current events that influence the evolution of each factor: according to the report pandemicpandemic of Covid-19Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine, which requires de-addiction gasgas Russian Economic restructuring, they argue, increases and then exacerbates dependence on fossil fuels. emissionsemissions of greenhouse gasgreenhouse gas. Finally, taking all environmental factors into account, the team modeled possible temperature increases by the end of the century.

The goals of the Paris Agreement will not be achieved

“We conclude that achieving deep global decarbonisation by 2050 is currently not plausible, given the observed trajectories of social drivers.” Because according to the report, it is social changes that will lead the fight against global warming. And for now, “The deep decarbonisation required is simply progressing too slowly”, Anita Engels cries. The study thus encourages to conserve what has been seen and, above all, to prepare for rapid adaptation to rising temperatures. Finally, researchers emphasize that “Human agency is strongly shaped by social injustices and inequalities that hinder social dynamics towards deep decarbonization by 2050.”

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