Qualicum Institute: Advocating a science-based understanding of ecological, social and economic survivability

What the Hell Are Our World Leaders Doing?

UN meetings fail to stop CO2 increase and biodiversity loss

Meetings, meetings and more meetings have done nothing to stem the global climate crisis (caused by increasing CO2) and the biodiversity loss crises. We have known about these issues for 50 years yet our leaders have failed  to act on the unfolding crises and move humanity to a sustainable civilization. Why? Because it has not been in their interest to acknowledge nor address the elephant in the room: the root cause of increasing CO2, climate change and biodiversity loss.

CO2 increase and biodiversity loss continues because UN meetings do not address the root cause: economic growth
The root cause of CO2, climate change and biodiversity loss. Original image from Forbes, Roger Dean Duncan

There have been 27 Conference of the Parties (COP) climate meetings with the 28th meeting to be held 30 Nov–12 Dec 2023, in Dubai. The following graph shows the “success” of all those meetings as CO2 continues to rise. 

Take action: Graph showing

And similar to the international climate meetings, the Biodiversity Convention COP meetings continue while world biodiversity plummets. We need biodiversity to sustain healthy ecosystems. Abundant and diverse organisms that are simply living out their daily lives provide the life-support services of the planet and drive ecosystem functions and the provision ecosystem life-support services.

Take action -graph showing UN meetings fail to stop biodiversity
Biodiversity Convention COP meetings and biodiversity decline

And there’s also dismal progress in reducing fossil fuels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2018 report states that limiting global warming to 2°C would require a decline in global net CO2 emissions by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, and reach net-zero around 2050. There would need to be a significant decrease in burning fossil fuels and a shift towards renewable energy sources.

The decrease in fossil fuel burning and the increase in renewable energy replacement are not happening fast enough. In 2022, global energy-related CO2 emissions grew by 321 Mt while renewable energy production did not meet even the increased global electricity demand in 2020 or 2021. In fact, renewable energy only met about half of the increased global electricity demand in 2021.

Graph showing evolution of Humanity's energy system

So we repeat: “What the hell are our world leaders doing?”

Please go to our Take Action page for what you can do.

Stop ecological overshoot caused by economic growth

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