EMISSIONS EMERGENCY All sources agree that global emissions must decline rapidly from 2020, including the 2018 IPCC 1.5C Report. IPCC 1.5C confirms 1.5 degrees C (by 2100) is the survival limit. Global emissions for 2017 was another record high (IEA). National emissions targets (2018) lead to a substantial INCREASE in emissions by 2030 projected to cause a catastrophic warming of 3.2C by 2100 (Climate Action Tracker). The US Trump Republican administration is boosting production of America's enormous fossil fuel deposits to the maximum. Canada's tar sands mining continues to expand. China is building more coal plants in and outside of China (Coalswarm).
GHG POLLUTION EMERGENCY Greenhouse gas pollution indicators and direct effects are all increasing fast (StateofOurClimate.com).
GLOBAL SURFACE TEMPERATURE INCREASE NASA and WMO estimate 1.0C global warming for 2017. 2016 was the record at 1.1C. The 2015-16 El Nino was an influence but no one expected the climate system to be so sensitive. El Nino warmer periods are projected to increase under global warming
WORST NEWS EVER ON CO2 'GHG Concentrations Surge to New Record' with 'abrupt' CO2 rate of increase 'without past precdent' (WMO 30 Oct 2017)
The 2015 UN Paris Agreement is not working A May 2016 Update of national emissions targets (May 2016) projects global emissions will be 16% HIGHER in 2030. There has been improvement in the national emissions targets (August 2018).
We now have Fracking increasing oil and natural gas production. Fracking is literally a planet destroying technology. See PSR's 2016 Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking
Reuters 23.6.2015 Climate change health risk "medical emergency", experts warn. For full report: Lancet report Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health.
May 2015: World Medical Association urges doctors to advise their governments (this year 2015) that climate change is the greatest global health challenge of the 21st century.
What to do about it today
Lancet 2015 chart of health impacts
The charts below show conclusively that the world is in an extremely grave state of climate change planetary emergency. Below is from the WMO Greenhouse Gas Budget. Atmospheric CO2 is now 408 ppm (Scripps).
Click chart below for IPCC 2014 (last assessment) adverse health implicated effects
A specific, simple emergency intervention to save our future for world medical and health organizations
Today, the only climate or energy plan that the world has is suicidal.
Atmospheric greenhouse gases are increasing faster than ever, at an unprecedented rate (see Our Climate).
Atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs)
The series of GHG graphs above shows our dire emergency situation. Today's atmospheric GHGs are far above their 800,000 year maximum, have abruptly increased from 1900, and CO2 is still accelerating.
National medical and health organizations can make a great difference by writing to their national governments.
We would, of course, like all medical and health organizations to declare the global climate change and ocean acidification planetary emergency.
The emergency is all the more more dire because GHG emissions are at record highs, and there are no international policy plans in place to change this. Below is the last EU report on emissions (by their source) and the US EPA record of global emissions (by gas). Fossil fuel CO2 emissions increased to a new record high in 2017 (IEA).
Climate change is set to inflict "severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts" on people and the natural world unless carbon emissions are cut sharply and rapidly (IPCC statement Lima UN climate conference 2014).
Yet the World Medical Association, in urging governments to act, noted that the December 2014 COP20 negotiations in Lima, Peru made little progress. "As negotiators look toward Paris, it is imperative that governments commit to addressing the devastating health implications of unmitigated climate change," said Dr. Haikerwal, Chair of the WMA Council. The Paris Agreement demoted Kyoto national emissions commitments to non-binding target intentions (INDCs).
"Declare global climate change a global public health emergency"
1 Oct 2014 BMJ to WHO
"Climate change & the carbon-intensive economy are responsible for 5 million deaths each year"
DARA Climate Vulnerability Monitor 2012
The situation for our future is now critical.
We must declare the planetary climate change emergency.
We must prepare for the worst ever environmental and population health calamity — of unprecedented proportions.
Many warnings have been issued, but it is going to take enormous pressure to persuade governments, intent on supporting further fossil fuel energy expansion, that an emergency response is imperative for our future survival.
"Staying above 350 ppm CO2 for long risks irreversible
catastrophic effects." (We are now over 395 ppm.)
— James Hansen in Target Atmospheric CO2, 2009 [pdf]
"Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century."
— Lancet and University College London Institute for Global Health Commission, 2009 in Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change
"Human-induced climate change requires urgent action."
— American Geophysical Union revised global climate change statement, August 2013
"In the face of an absolutely unprecedented emergency, society has no choice but to take dramatic action to avert a collapse of civilization."
— Blue Planet Laureates, February 2012 to Rio+20
LEVEL OF THE PLANETARY EMERGENCY
Latest Must-Know Climate Change Emergency News
"The last decade was the hottest on record.
— NOAA, State of the Climate in 2012, 2013
The world's best Northern Hemisphere food-producing regions have experienced episodic severe heat, drought and extreme weather events that have damaged crops.
"In most countries there is a discernible reduction in crop yield trends due to climate change."
— D. Lobell et al, in Science, May 2011
All Arctic carbon feedbacks are now kicking in. Carbon feedbacks are, by definition, the most dangerous effect of global warming because they boost global warming further. The Arctic is switching from carbon sink to source (NOAA Arctic Report card 2016) The Arctic contains massive vulnerable pools of carbon.
"Global climates only slightly warmer than today are sufficient to thaw significant regions of permafrost." Siberian permafrost has a tipping point of a 1.5ºC global warming.
— A. Vaks et al, in Science, February 2013
Analyses by the Climate Interactive Scoreboard and Climate Action Tracker show that current unconditional national 'intended' emissions reduction targets commit the world to a 3.2ºC temperature increase by 2100, which is a commitment to much higher warming long after 2100 (due to inertia of the ocean heat lag).
There is still no formal acknowledgement of the climate change emergency or that the world is beyond dangerous interference with the climate system (1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change). The latest UN climate conferences have led to the UN Paris Agreement , which includes various 'intended' national emissions reduction targets but no binding commitments.
"The potential for runaway greenhouse warming is real and has never been more clear."
— UNEP Year Book, 2009
Global climate change and other ongoing persistent global environmental problems "threaten humanity's very survival.... The need couldn't be more urgent ... to act now to safeguard our own survival and that of future generations."
— UNEP GEO-4, 2007
"Effects of climate change on health will affect most populations in the next decades and put the lives and wellbeing of billions of people at increased risk."
— Lancet and University College London Institute for Global Health Commission, in Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change [pdf]
"Unless decisive action is taken now, the world will face global public health and environmental catastrophe. We believe that the health and healthcare community can, and must, spearhead a major movement for change."
— The Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom
"If there's no action before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment."
— Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007
We are tracking close to the worst case global emissions scenario (2017) headed for over four degrees of global warming by 2100 and much higher long after 2100 , which constitutes a climate change planetary emergency and a threat to the very survival of humanity.
(Figure 1 below)
Figure 1: Today's global greenhouse gas emissions are tracking towards
the IPCC's worst case scenario.
TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR SAFEGUARDING HUMANITY
AND LIFE ON EARTH
Doctors and concerned professionals in other leading institutions have a vital role to play in safeguarding future generations from planetary catastrophe — but only by acting today.
Why healthcare professionals? The medical community is in a special position to respond to this crisis. There is no profession better qualified to understand the huge risks humanity is running, to define "dangerous" climate change, and to prescribe the best remedial measures for diminishing the disaster and preventing total climate catastrophe.
The declaration of this planetary climate change emergency and summons to a global emergency response would naturally come first from these professions.
Only an international declaration of a state of global climate change emergency can rapidly rectify this situation, by leading to a concerted international emergency response to rescue all future generations.
Nations are still targeting the 1996 EU policy compromise of 2ºC global warming, which according to the latest science is disastrous and invites catastrophe. (More...)
It is CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE's mission to help concerned professionals (especially doctors) contribute to remedying this situation, and to link with support from other concerned citizens.
The world needs policies and planning based on the avoidance of any risk of irreversible, catastrophic climate change tipping points. This site therefore addresses the worst risks as well as the worst predicted impacts. (More...)
Why the urgency? In short, all indicators are increasing fast and the most vital ones are accelerating (StateofOurPlanet.com).
All carbon feedbacks to global warming are now operant. This is a climate change emergency. With
a large risk of passing irreversible, catastrophic tipping points now clearly exists. (More...)
There is still no formal statement that the world is beyond "dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" (UN climate convention) and no declaration of a global climate crisis or planetary state of emergency.
Industrialized nations continue to block the way to any fast acting binding agreement that would prevent catastrophic global climate change. The Paris Agreement is another delay.
Medical debate about global warming has so far emphasized the planning and response to global climate change. It is therefore timely that we draw a parallel to medical involvement in the nuclear weapons disarmament movement in the 1980s....
Doctors now have a similar particular responsibility in the fight to achieve urgent international reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Firstly, we can point to the futility of expending our energy, enterprise and long-term investment in advancing health care in the absence of action to preserve a livable planet....
We can [also] inform the debate with reliable data on the health consequences of global warming, and use our professional voice and leadership to instill it with urgency.
— Dr. Richard F. Kefford, Professor of Medicine
University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE assists in building a global voice of concerned professionals, particularly healthcare professionals, to ensure a healthy and habitable planet for future generations — of all species. The emergency medical responses suggested in this website are based on:
What's the first step? Click on the Climate Change Emergency button below for immediate action steps, or on a link to the left to learn about the risks and to see how doctors and other healthcare professionals can take action on global climate change.