Increasing Collaboration Between Key Stakeholders to Facilitate Large-Scale Climate Action
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1) Current Climate Action Gap & Warming Pathway:
- In October of 2022, the UN warned that the World faces a 2.8-degree warmer future by 2100 if countries continue with current ‘action gap’.
- A 2.8 global temperature rise from pre-industrial levels is predicted to cause a ‘climate catastrophe’, which will include much more severe droughts, floods, wildfires, forced migration, and conflict than what is occurring at this time.
- Technologies and funding exists to implement climate action a sufficient scale.
- Instead collaborating to implement climate action on a sufficient scale, some key stakeholders spend significant resources opposing each other, which is enabling an ongoing rapid rise of greenhouse gas levels (business-as-usual scenario).
2) How Human security experts can help increase collaboration of key stakeholders:
Human security experts (military and intelligence experts) experts can help “bridge the gap between believers and doubters” on the need for large-scale action on climate change. One of the reasons for this is that most people are particularly sensitive to issues that affect their personal security and that of their families. As a result, human security experts can help focus people’s attention on issues that climate scientists are very concerned about.
For example, a briefing by glacier scientists and human security experts about the expected global sea level rise along with the associated impacts on human security could encourage collaboration between key stakeholders to facilitate large-scale climate action. These key stakeholders would include senior people from industrial sectors with high emissions, the financial sector, governments and the environmental movement.
Recently, the United Nations sounded an alarm about the existing and expected global sea level rise along with the associated impacts on human security by hosting a UN Security Council public meeting about this topic. This meeting then spawned the publication of a surge of articles about this and related topics. Given below is a concise summary about these topics along with some information rising demand for fossil fuels and what could be done to mitigate emissions on a large scale.
B. Some hard facts about rising sea levels and their impacts on human security:
1) Ocean currents have shifted so that now massive amounts of relatively warm sea water are rapidly melting several glacier ice shelves in the Antarctic.
2) Melting ice shelves enable glaciers to flow into the ocean much faster causing faster-rising sea levels.
3) As UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres indicated, rising seas threaten ‘mass exodus on a biblical scale’.
4) Major new study on the expected impact of rising seas: Twice as Much Land in Developing Nations Will be Swamped by Rising Seas than Previously Projected.
5) Rising sea levels will affect 900 million people living in coastal zones at low elevations, which is expected to cause large-scale instability and conflict. (Info from UN article published on Feb 14, 2023).
6) These rising sea levels are an example of “How Climate Change is a Security Threat Multiplier”.
To view links to several articles and reports about rising sea levels along with the associated impacts on human security and related topics, visit: Rising Global Sea Levels and Its Impacts on Human Security.
C. Current reality about increasing demand for fossil fuels and its impact on atmospheric CO2 levels:
1) Energy demand is reported to be growing faster than renewable energy. For example, the July 2021 IEA Electricity Market Report: Global electricity demand is growing faster than renewables, driving strong increase in generation from fossil fuels.
2) Fossil fuel demand is forecast to increase. For example, OPEC estimates oil demand to increase to 110 million barrels per day (BPD) in 2045, up from 97 million BPD in 2021. Demand for natural gas is also rising. (Note: IEA expects a decline in fossil fuel demand if promised policies by countries are implemented but this has not occurred yet).
3) Some developing countries are rapidly increasing emissions, such as India, which is already emitting more than Europe combined; India Predicts 500% Increase In Domestic Natural Gas Demand (Feb 06, 2023)
4) Global CO2 levels continue to rise at a rapid rate. See CO2 graphs below from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii:
D. Rapid innovation and integration of clean technologies as well as nature-based solutions is creating an opportunity for substantial global emissions mitigation. Given below are some examples:
1) Combining Complementary Technologies to Maximize Climate Impact in a Sustainable and Profitable Way.
2) New and existing coal plants can be fitted with new fuel cell technology that utilizes natural gas to power the capture of 90% of the CO2 produced and generate 80% more power.
3) Implementation of Selected Climate Solutions that Mitigate Climate Change and Provide Co-benefits could mitigate 26 billion tonnes of CO2 per year. (Shown here is a possible pathway to substantially increase funding these types of climate solutions: A Possible Pathway to an Agreement for Increased Funding for Climate Action in Developing Countries.)
4) Drawdown Lift initiative advocates for climate solutions that have multiple benefits for boosting well-being, strengthening resilience, and contributing to poverty alleviation
Implementation of innovative solutions needs to occur on a very large and rapidly growing scale to meet the goals of the Paris Accord. This will likely only happen with substantial collaboration between industrial sectors including the oil and gas sector, the financial sector, governments and the environmental movement. To encourage this collaboration, glacier scientists and human security experts can brief these stakeholders on the facts about rising global sea levels along with the current and expected impacts on human security.
Full engagement and support of the environmental movement for climate action is critical to facilitate rapid approvals and implementation of large-scale climate solutions. To help ensure large-scale projects are implemented in the most environmentally responsible way, early and ongoing engagement of environmental organizations in these projects as they are developed is recommended.
E. Large-scale climate action projects being delayed or cancelled:
There are several large-scale climate action projects in North America are being delayed or cancelled due to multiple reasons. Given below are some articles indicating delays or cancellations on a range of large projects including ones that are climate action related:
1) CBC: Energy transition will be challenging in era of public protests, regulatory hurdles, Apr 18, 2022.
F. Some major factors that are reducing popular support for large-scale climate action in Canada
Given below are some major factors that are reducing popular support for large-scale climate action in Canada:
1) The day-to-day problems of the average Canadian including rising borrowing costs and inflation appear to be causing them not to priorize climate issues over other issues these days. These issues also appear to be reducing popular support for the Federal Liberal Party and their climate action agenda. Shown below are some recent polling results:
338Canada Federal Projection dated March 12, 2023 (Outside of campaigns, the federal projections are updated every Sunday.)
2) Conspiracy theories and climate denial: Phys.org: Climate disinfo surges in denial, conspiracy comeback, Jan. 31, 2023
There appears to be a large and growing number of people who believe in a range of conspiracy theories. Some of these conspiracy theories discredit climate science partly because these theories blame powerful people like Bill Gates for doing very bad things and if these powerful people are recommending climate action, this must be bad for us. One argument is that “the very rich are using climate change alarmism as a way to transfer wealth from you and me to them”.
Given below are some articles about the growth of belief in conspiracy theories:
- CBC: One-quarter of Canadians believe online conspiracy theories, expert tells MPs, Apr 28, 2022
- AbacusData.ca: Millions believe in conspiracy theories in Canada, June 12, 2022
- NationalObserver: Chilling Canadian conspiracy theories explained by Luke Ottenhof, Dec. 5, 2022
3) Issues affecting popular support for climate action: Selected Documentaries and Articles that Illustrate Major Problems Affecting the Younger Generation:
Young people do not appear to be as concerned about climate change as they did before the pandemic. This could be in part because they are overwhelmed with other problems. Given below is a link to a summary of documentaries and articles that are negatively affecting society, especially the younger generation (Gen Z’s, etc.):
Selected Documentaries and Articles that Illustrate Major Problems Affecting the Younger Generation (Short Link: https://shorturl.at/emrSZ )
- Ocean currents have shifted so that now massive amounts of relatively warm sea water is rapidly melting several glacier ice shelves in the Antarctic, leading to faster sea level rise.
- As UN Secretary-General Guterres indicated, rising seas threaten ‘mass exodus on a biblical scale’, which will lead to large-scale political instability and conflict.
- Even with rapid growth of renewable energy, fossil fuel demand is rising leading to rapid rise in atmospheric CO2 levels.
- Technologies exist that can be implemented on a massive scale to sufficiently reduce emissions.
- Many large-scale projects have been stopped or delayed due to the approval process.
- Implementation of innovative solutions needs to occur on a very large and rapidly growing scale to meet the goals of the Paris Accord.
- Substantial collaboration is needed between industrial sectors including the oil and gas sector, the financial sector, governments and the environmental movement.
- Full engagement of the environmental movement is needed for rapid implementation of large-scale climate action-related projects.
- To encourage collaboration, host briefings for key stakeholders, where climate scientists explain a major climate-related issue such as sea level rise and human security experts explain the resulting impacts on human security.
- These briefings should be followed by round-table meetings where stakeholders can discuss how to overcome obstacles and move forward on large-scale climate action projects.
- Industrial sectors including the oil and gas sector propose large-scale projects on a sufficient scale to help countries meet their commitments to the Paris Accord.
- Environmental organizations engage early with industry to help ensure large-scale projects are implemented in the most environmentally responsible way.
- Environmental organizations engage in considerable discussions amongst themselves to build consensus on the best way forward regarding these large-scale projects.
I. Proposed Panel Session about Global Sea Level Rise and Its Impact on Human Security Followed Up by Round-table Meeting:
- DRAFT Panel Session about Global Sea Level Rise and Its Impact on Human Security Followed Up by Round-table Meeting about Scaling Up Climate Action
J. Proposed Topics for Briefing Sessions Combined with Round-table meetings for Key Stakeholders
1) Expected global sea level rise and the associated impacts on human security.
2) Rising methane emissions, its possible tipping point in the Arctic region and the associated impacts on human security.
3) Extreme droughts often followed substantial flooding and the associated impacts on human security.
4) Potential collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) (which underpins the Atlantic Ocean Gulf Stream) and the associated impacts on human security.
5) Summary of major climate tipping points and the associated impacts on human security if they occur.
K. Summary Information about Warming Trend, Human Security and Climate Solutions:
For more information about the impacts of climate change on human security, view recordings of a conference we at Climate Solutions Advancement Network (ClimateSAN) hosted in 2021 about Climate, Security, Solutions and Finance in conjunction with the NATO Association of Canada and the Modern War Institute at West Point. This event was based on the rationale by Prof. Michael Klare, who argues that human security experts can help “bridge the gap between believers and doubters” on the need for large-scale action on climate change. One of the sessions at this conference was about the Highlights of The World Climate and Security Report 2020 by the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS). This presentation was moderated by General Tom Middendorp (Ret.), who is Chair of the IMCCS.
For a more complete summary of the information assembled by ClimateSAN about the current climate warming trend, its impact on human security and climate solutions that can be implemented on a global scale, visit:
Summary of ClimateSAN webpages about Warming Trend, Human Security and Climate Solutions (ClimateSAN.org/csss )
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