“To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live … [This] entails major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems.”
The signatories suggest six steps that would lessen the worst effects of climate change: replacing fossil fuels with low-carbon renewables; reducing the emissions of pollutants such as methane; protecting the Earth’s ecosystems; eating mostly plant-based foods and fewer animal products; creating a carbon-free economy and stabilising the human population.
In their statement, the alliance of scientists, led by William Ripple and Christopher Wolf of Oregon State University in the United States, said the climate crisis is “accelerating faster” than most researchers expected.
“Despite 40 years of global climate negotiations, with few exceptions, we have generally conducted business as usual and have largely failed to address this predicament,” they wrote.
“Especially worrisome are potential irreversible climate tipping points and nature’s reinforcing feedbacks (atmospheric, marine, and terrestrial) that could lead to a catastrophic ‘hothouse Earth’, well beyond the control of humans,” they said.