Transport is a major issue and possibly one of the most difficult to tackle. Electric vehicles will need to make up at least 15 percent of new car sales worldwide, a steep increase from the current 1 percent. Plans will need to be put in place to further cut emissions from public transport too, as well as a 20 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from planes per kilometer traveled.
Land use changes will need to be altered with a shift instead to reforestation projects. If land use changes and deforestation can be completely halted within a decade, and reforestation initiated by 2030, then it will help cut all emissions to zero while simultaneously protecting water security and biodiversity.
When it comes to financing, governments need to step up, as most of the money mobilized for climate action will actually come from the private sector. This may all sound like a lot be to be done, and as they say, could well be idealistic, but if the emissions are not curtailed then we are going to be the ones that suffer.
The letter goes on to say how these goals can be achieved, starting with basing policies and actions based on robust scientific evidence. Scientists need to ways to communicate their ideas better, and politicians need to listen. Next, existing solutions need to be scaled up, and quickly. Nations need to adopt plans to get 100 percent of electricity from renewables.
Finally, we need to encourage optimism. This may all sound disheartening and pointless, but there are solutions, there are success stories, and these need to be shared and celebrated.
“We must remember that impossible is not a fact, it’s an attitude…," the authors conclude. "There will always be those who hide their heads in the sand and ignore the global risks of climate change. But there are many more of us committed to overcoming this inertia. Let us stay optimistic and act boldly together.”