Only a change of system will counteract global warming, according to the panel of 20 experts that was put together at the initiative of the “Youth For Climate” movement in late January. The panel, consisting of several academics as well as experts from other fields, wrote a report that highlighted how only a systemic change can still counteract global warming, and included several concrete measures, grouped into 27 recommendations for a strong climate and sustainable development policy, reported Belga.
According to the experts, climate policy cannot be limited to a policy of nature, nor can it be reduced to reducing CO2 emissions. “It must be centred around the trinity of climate, ecosystems and social,” they indicated.
They call on politicians to focus on an accelerated transition to the climate neutrality of energy and industry. “Fossil fuels must disappear from the energy mix, and the total energy demand must also decrease strongly,” the report said.
In Belgium, the petrochemical, refining, steel and cement sectors are responsible for most of the industry’s CO2 emissions, and they have to make “a large-scale transition to make its processes and products more environmentally friendly,” the report showed.
They also stress the need for a transition of the use of land, soil and infrastructure. “This requires a major rethinking of housing policies, mobility, and food production and processing.” It is essential to “immediately stop encroaching on open spaces,” they said.
The experts also value the local and circular economy as well as urged for less wasteful consumption in order to respect planetary boundaries as production and consumption standards. Additionally, they propose the creation of an expert council to evaluate the policies implemented.
“Each of these recommendations is urgent,” one of the experts, professor van Ypersele, insisted when the report was presented. “It is possible to avoid accelerated global warming and the collapse of ecosystems, but it is now or never,” he concluded.