The Alliance of World Scientists (AWS), an alliance of over 11,000 scientists coming from 153 countries across the globe, has issued a new warning that Earth is currently facing a climate emergency. All AWS members have affixed their signatures on a new study about the rapid effects of the greenhouse gas emissions brought about by human activities during the past four decades and the slow progress by which governments are resolving the emerging climate change crises.
In a report published recently by the association in the BioScience journal, the scientists identified six key factors that governments must immediately address. That way, the world can immediately curtail, if not arrest the rapid effects of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions and the emergency climate conditions faced by the planet.
Six Areas of Concern that Governments Must Immediately Address
Lead authors of the research, William Ripple and Christopher Wolf, who are ecologists at Oregon State University, said that first and foremost of the six areas that require changes, is the world’s continuously growing population. The authors said that inasmuch as the world population increases by as many as 80 million people each year, governments should implement policies promoting family planning and gender equality, in order to stabilize population growth.
The second emergency action that countries must promote is the use of energy from renewable sources, as opposed to energy derived from fossil fuels. At the same time, this action comes with the need for governments to invest in emerging technologies that can capture much of the carbon dioxide that have been released in the atmosphere.
In relation to the scientists’ recommendations for renewable energy replacement, governments should cease granting subsidies to companies engaged in fossil fuel extractions. Through their report, the AWS scientists are also calling on wealthier countries, to provide support instead to poorer nations to help them transition to clean energy sources and usage.
Nations must also greatly reduce emissions of other potent pollutants like soot, methane and human-made compounds known as hydrofluorocarbons used in refrigerators, air conditioners and aerosols. According to the report, the reduction of such pollutants can retard the emergency climate conditions by more than 50 percent throughout the next few decades.
Vigorous mitigation efforts should be geared toward protecting and restoring the planet’s ecosystems that exist in forests, wetlands, coral reefs and savannas. Mainly because they naturally capture and store CO2 occurring in the atmosphere,
Lastly, the scientists are encouraging people to consume more plant-based food. Doing so not only improves health, but can also help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions produced by livestock. Rather than prioritizing initiatives for promoting Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in relation to pursuit of gaining wealth in economies, governments must have more focus on sustaining the planet’s various ecosystems and achieving goals to keep the atmosphere carbon-free.
Geography and Environmental Resources professor at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Leslie Duram, said that she is concerned that governments are making environmental problems and actions, political partisan issues, which should not be the case. As one of the endorsers of the AWS report, she wants everyone to realize that
”We, as human beings and inhabitants of this planet, have to come together to take action in helping preserve the Earth’s environment.”