Three years to save the climate and the world


The article Three years to safeguard our climate published on Nature by an international team of researcher led by the former executive secretary of the United Nations framework convention on climate change (Unfcc) Christiana Figueres raises no doubts on the fact actions are immediately needed and strict measures should be quickly implemented, if we want to avoid a global climate catastrophe. To this end, the level of greenhouse gas emissions in the air should be immediately decreased and the use of fossil fuels should be drastically diminished, whereby these measures are key to ward off extreme heatwaves and an unmanageable sea level rise.

Figueres and colleagues believe that we are close to bending the greenhouse-gas emissions curve downwards by 2020, as scientists have long demanded, to achieve the UN sustainable development targets and in particular to eliminate extreme poverty. This is a challenge of enormous magnitude, which coincides with the unprecedented opening on the part of sub-national governments in the United States, as well as of governments at any level outside the United States and the private sector in general. In the next three years we might therefore be called upon to face a unique opportunity in history.

The goals the world needs to reach by 2020, as indicated in the article on Nature, are the following: energy, with renewables making up at least 30% of the world’s electricity supply and the dismissal of all coal-fired power plants; transport, with electric vehicles making up 15% of new car sales globally (today they claim about 1%) and finance, which should mobilize at least $1 trillion a year for climate action.