In response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report detailing progress and pathways to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels, Tom Damassa, Oxfam America’s Associate Director for Climate Change made the following statement:
“From the dramatic rains of Hurricanes Florence and Harvey, to the extreme droughts in East Africa, we are witnessing the shocking examples of our new climate reality in real time. In its new report, the IPCC warns us that it can get much, much worse.
“No corner of the globe will be spared, and there is no safe level for climate change. Governments must quickly act to invest in the renewable energy revolution and move to protect communities at risk.
“As our planet warms, more lives and livelihoods will be at stake and unjustly, it will be the poor and the most vulnerable on the frontlines. Having already warmed 1 degree, we are witnessing rising risks for hunger, disease, and conflict. An increase of 2 degrees could mean entire communities will be displaced, and many island nations will simply disappear under the waves. An increase of 3 degrees is unthinkable, but without additional action, that is the path we are currently on.
“The Trump administration continues to ignore the warnings of climate scientists and be laser-focused on undoing policies that could help move the US toward a cleaner and more equitable economy, but cities, states and businesses across the country are stepping in and taking their own actions.
“While the US government continues to prop up fossil fuels, some of the poorest and lowest emitting countries are taking on far more than their fair shares, leading the fight against climate change despite being the least responsible for creating climate change. They know what’s at stake, and it’s time for us all to stand with them and embrace a new, more just and more human economy.”