MORE than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries have declared a climate emergency, warning of ‘untold suffering’ unless urgent action is taken.
Despite 40 years of debate about the issue, humans have largely failed to address climate change, leaving the planet in a ‘profoundly troubling’ state, the experts warned.
And now ‘the climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected’, they added.
Dr Thomas Newsome, at the University of Sydney, said: ‘Scientists have a moral obligation to warn humanity of any great threat. From the data we have, it is clear we are facing a climate emergency.’
The study was released a day after the US officially began pulling out of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement, with secretary of state Mike Pompeo labelling it an ‘unfair economic burden’. The controversial US exit will become official the day after the 2020 presidential election.
The researchers from Australia, the US and South Africa used indicators such as sustained increases in human populations, the amount of meat consumed, the number of air passengers and global tree-cover loss, as well as carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption.
However, the paper, published in the journal Bioscience, has suggested a six-point plan including: replacing fossil fuels with low-carbon renewables; restoring natural forests; eating mostly plant-based foods, and stabilising, and gradually reducing, the world population.