Top scientists issue warning to Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Friday 12 February 2021
Scientists Warning Europe (SWE) have issued an open letter to Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, asking for much stronger leadership in the face of catastrophic climate change and growing ecological collapse. This endorses the letter from ex Nasa scientist, James Hansen, which also called on Mr. Johnson to step up and lead the world in solving the climate crisis.
The letter from SWE is supported by 20 eminent scientists and academics including the government’s ex science adviser Sir David King; leading Dutch Climate Scientist Pier Vellinga who was one of the architects of the UNFCCC, involved in the inception of the IPCC as vice chairman in its first bureau; and Bill Ripple – lead author of the Scientists Warning to Humanity a Second Notice in 2017 and the Scientists Warning of a Climate Emergency 2019. Two top scientists from Italy, Britain’s co-host for COP26, also endorse SWE’s letter.
SWE calls for Mr Johnson to table a much earlier net zero target and bring to Mr Johnson’s notice the substantial support for such a target by the many UK local councils adopting 2030 net zero as a target in their declarations of Climate Emergency.
Ed Gemmell, Managing Director, Scientists Warning Europe said:
“We know from the scientific community that we need the earliest target possible for the UK and the world to get to net zero to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Many feel this should be 2030. Our current politicians are the last ones with the chance to take the necessary actions required by the British public, 81% of whom believe there is a real Climate Emergency according to the UNDP. We believe Boris Johnson has the courage to bring forward the net zero target and then initiate the emergency action needed to reach it
Professor Pier Vellinga, Board Member Scientists Warning Europe and co initiator and one of the first bureau members of the IPCC in the early nineties.
“In limiting climate change the world is finally taking action, but we are late; Boris Johnson can lead the world by catching up! All generations after him will be grateful when he does in the lead to Glasgow Cop 26.”
Professor Chris Rhodes – Board Member Scientists Warning Europe and Director of Fresh-lands Environmental Actions
"While moving away from fossil fuels is essential, we must avoid any "holes" in supply occurring, either while the low-carbon Plan B is being rolled out, and fossil fuel stations are closed down, or from any "variability" in the final, installed system."
Professor Mark Baldwin, University of Exeter
“The single most important policy action that governments can take is to stop the tax breaks, incentives, and subsidies for fossil fuels. Redirect that support to the green energy industry—wind, solar, and the infrastructure needed for electric transport—to accelerate the transition to net zero.
Dr. Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director, Scientists for Global Responsibility
“Boris Johnson's 10-point plan for a green industrial transition lacks the necessary ambition to tackle the climate emergency. The funding is much too small, there's too much reliance on speculative technologies like small modular nuclear reactors, and it is too narrowly focused on industrial change. We urgently need to rise to the challenge.”
Scientists Warning Europe
Scientists Warning Europe’s mission is to drive science led action on the Climate and Biodiversity Crisis and to promote knowledge of the three scientists’ warnings to Humanity in 1992, 2017 and 2019. In doing this SWE represents the tens of thousands of scientists who endorsed these warnings.
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FEBRUARY 2nd 2021 - FINAL REPORT -THE ECONOMICS OF BIODIVERSITY - THE DASGUPTA REVIEW is published! It calls for urgent and transformative change in how we think, act and measure economic success to protect and enhance our prosperity and the natural world.
JANUARY10th, 2021 - 17 eminent scientists have issued what is effectively a FOURTH Warning to Humanity, 4 years after a Second Warning was issued by 8 scientists supported by over 15,000 more in 184 countries; and 2 years after a Climate Emergency Warning was issued by 5 scientists supported by 14,000 more in 156 coun
Six interrelated steps have been identified in the third iteration of Scientists' Warning in areas that governments and policy makers can act upon
"Eating mostly plant-based foods while reducing the global consumption of animal products, especially ruminant livestock, can improve human health and significantly lower GHG emissions." "Cropping practices such as minimum tillage that increase soil carbon are vitally important. We need to drastically reduce the enormous amount of food waste around the world." From World Scientists Warning of a Climate Emergency 2019
"...the world population must be stabilized—and, ideally, gradually reduced—within a framework that ensures social integrity."
"These policies make family-planning services available to all people, remove barriers to their access and achieve full gender equity, including primary and secondary education as a global norm for all, especially girls and young women."
"The world must quickly implement massive energy efficiency and conservation practices and must replace fossil fuels with low-carbon renewables and other cleaner sources of energy if safe for people and the environment."
"We must swiftly eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels and use effective and fair policies for steadily escalating carbon prices to restrain their use."
"We need to promptly reduce the emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, including methane (figure 2b), black carbon (soot), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Doing this could slow climate feedback loops and potentially reduce the short-term warming trend by more than 50% over the next few decades".
"Excessive extraction of materials and overexploitation of ecosystems, driven by economic growth, must be quickly curtailed to maintain long-term sustainability of the biosphere."
"Our goals need to shift from GDP growth and the pursuit of affluence toward sustaining ecosystems and improving human well-being by prioritizing basic needs and reducing inequality."
"We must protect and restore Earth's ecosystems. Phytoplankton, coral reefs, forests, savannas, grasslands, wetlands, peatlands, soils, mangroves, and sea grasses contribute greatly to sequestration of atmospheric CO2. Marine and terrestrial plants, animals, and microorganisms play significant roles in carbon and nutrient cycling and storage."
Our Pre-COP event "Planet in Crisis - Creating Action for COP26" presented, through a series of online events, the science and the actions needed now, at COP26 and in the very near future in order to protect the future of our children and every living creature. Watch all of the events on our YouTube channel
The AWS is an international assembly of scientists independent of both governmental and non-governmental organizations and corporations, with a main goal to be a collective international voice of many scientists regarding global climate and environmental trends and how to turn accumulated knowledge into action. Dr. Bill Ripple and Dr. Chris Wolf serve as Director and Associate Director of the AWS respectively and feature as key authors of the Second Warning in 2017 and also the Climate Emergency Warning in 2019.
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