We have to act now

Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Dr. Ibrahim Didi signs the decree of underwater cabinet meeting – CC BY-NC 2.0 – Photo by Mohamed Seeneen

Due to the climate crisis, we need a coal phase-out by 2030 in all OECD countries and by 2050 globally.

The IPCC Special Report 1.5°C concludes that the global average temperature already has risen by 1°C compared to 1850 and 1900 (IPCC 2018). Among climate researchers there is a very strong consensus (between 90 and 100%) that humans are causing the recent global warming (Cook et al. 2016). There is a clear correlation between the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere and the increase in the mean global air temperature.

Observed monthly global mean surface temperature (GMST, grey line up to 2017, from the HadCRUT4, GISTEMP, Cowtan–Way, and NOAA datasets) change and estimated anthropogenic global warming (solid orange line up to 2017, with orange shading indicating assessed likely range). Orange dashed arrow and horizontal orange error bar show respectively the central estimate and likely range […]

If no further efforts are made to drastically reduce emissions quickly, the consequences will be more extreme weather events, like storms and floods, rising sea levels and sharply declining food production yields (IPCC 2018).

To prevent this, 180 countries committed themselves with the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015 to limiting global warming to below 2°C, aiming at 1.5°C. Nevertheless, global greenhouse gas emissions have not decreased in recent years. According to current forecasts, the climate target of less than 2°C will clearly be missed (BMUB 2016; Oei et al. 2019). Coal is the most CO2 intensive fossil energy source (Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen 2017; DIW Berlin, Wuppertal Institut, and Ecologic Institut 2018)

In order to still meet the goals, everyone has to stop using coal for electricity generation.