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Home » More reasons for optimism on climate change than we’ve seen for decades: 2 climate experts explain

More reasons for optimism on climate change than we’ve seen for decades: 2 climate experts explain

More reasons for optimism on climate change than we’ve seen for decades: 2 climate experts explain

It’s unusual for researchers who study our catastrophically changing climate to use the words “optimism” and “climate change” in the same sentence.

As an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lead author and a climate communication researcher, we well understand how grave the climate situation is. The science projections tell us we’re not on track to stay under the Paris Agreement’s 2℃ target. Our planet’s biodiversity and oceans are in peril. And if we reach climate tipping points, we’ll have little ability to mitigate runaway climate change.

But what if we were to come to a tipping point for climate action?

At Biden’s climate summit last week, the US committed to a 50-52% cut in greenhouse gas emissions reduction on 2005 levels by 2030. The UK promised a 78% emissions reduction by 2035, while the EU pledged to cut emissions 55% by 2030 on 1990 levels. And Japan committed to a 46% cut by 2030 on 2013 emissions.

Australia, however, brought nothing new to the table in terms of emissions, offering no further cuts to its planned 26-28% reduction on 2005 emissions by 2030.

Australia’s lack of ambition aside, the summit is not the only sign transformation in the global climate effort is underway. Recently, more reasons for optimism have emerged than we’ve seen for decades.

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