Climate Change, International

It Is No Longer Okay For Climate Change Deniers To Have a Say

By: Jeremy Figueroa

Following the devastating United Nations (UN) report on climate change from its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in October 2018, came the UN’s annual Emissions Gap Report. This annual report details currents efforts and ambitions of the G20 members by assessing each member’s emissions associated with the Nationally Determined Contributions and their current policies to mitigate those emissions. The most pressing issue in this report is the new information on the “emissions gap,” which is the discrepancy between the goals and the current measures of global greenhouse gas emissions. This report shows the largest gap ever, as there was an increase in emissions in 2017 after relatively stable emissions from 2014 to 2016.

This report emphasizes the dire need for increased action by governments as well as non-state actors as it states that emissions are not expected to peak by even 2030. All evidence suggests that it is crucial to hit the peak by 2020 to meet the goals of keeping the rise in global temperatures under 2℃ by 2030. This report details actions that need to be taken to reach these goals, but the question is whether sufficient action will be taken before it is too late.

With this report coming only days after the US Fourth National Climate Assessment, it will be interesting to see how the United States approaches this information. The United States is not projected to meet its Cancun pledge by 2020, along with a few other G20 members, which affects the outcome for the globe’s needs to change fast. More dishearteningly, the major news media outlets in this country are giving time to those who deny climate change is a problem. These deniers’ ideas can only hurt and misinform those not educated on the issue, but they do expose to and influence the public with Trump administration’s stance on these issues. It is high time that major news stations in the US take a stand against climate change deniers as BBC has done and realize that they are no more than conspiracy theorists.

It is up to the public to hold our government accountable which has our future in hand and has an ultimate interest in changing its approach to climate issues. This annual report does not just detail the situation we are in, but also lays out reasonable ways in which governments and non-state actors can stop the detrimental effects of climate change. We, the American people, must call our congressmen, hold our media outlets responsible for spreading these denial ideas, and make our voices heard, because change needs to happen, and we can wait no longer.