Time to send in the emergency climate responders

(EurActiv, 14 Jun 2019) With a 12-year cap set by the United Nations’ intergovernmental panel of climate scientists, the clock is ticking to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2030. It is crucial that European leaders back the environmental push, writes Sandrine Dixson-Declève.

Sandrine Dixson-Declève is the co-president of the Club of Rome. 

Politicians may be sounding the alarm on climate, but they have yet to fetch the fire hoses.

It’s appropriate for politicians to declare that we are in a state of climate emergency. When a fire breaks out, sounding the alarm is the first thing to be done. Then, it is time to put the fire out.

The UK’s parliament took a symbolic step in early May when it became the first country to declare a climate emergency, followed by the Irish parliament 10 days later. Nearly 600 cities, states, and local governments have done the same worldwide. Yet these statements will not accomplish much unless they are implemented with quick, thorough change.

Declaring an emergency is what governments do in the immediate aftermath of, say, a landslide, a hurricane or a terrorist attack. The next step is to mobilize the forces — to send in the paramedics, firefighters, rescue divers or military guards.

So where are the emergency climate responders? The public is certainly clamoring for it, as was shown in the Green Party’s gains in last month’s European elections.

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EurActiv, 14 Jun 2019: Time to send in the emergency climate responders