Thousands of scientists the world over have expressed support for the young people who have been skipping school to demonstrate in favour of stronger action to protect the climate. “Their concerns are justified and supported by the best available science,” the scientists noted in an online open letter drawn up by ScientistsForFuture, an international collective of researchers. “The current measures for protecting the climate and biosphere are deeply inadequate.”
“The enormous grassroots mobilization of the youth climate movement shows that young people understand the situation,” the scientists said. “We approve and support their demand for rapid and forceful action.”
The authors of the letter, signed by 26,800 scientists, include two Belgians: Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (UCLouvain), who has announced that he will be running for president of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and Sara Vicca of the University of Antwerp.
“We see it as our social, ethical and scholarly responsibility to state in no uncertain terms: Only if humanity acts quickly and resolutely can we limit global warming, halt the ongoing mass extinction of animal and plant species, and preserve the natural basis for the food supply and well-being of present and future generations,” the scientists said in their letter. “This is what the young people want to achieve. They deserve our respect and full support.”
Pointing to the Paris accord, in which 194 States and the European Union made a commitment to limit climate change to 1.5°C, the scientists stressed the “crucial importance” of reducing CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions.
In this regard, politicians in industrialised countries have a huge responsibility to create the necessary framework conditions in a timely manner, and to reflect on social, technological and natural solutions, ScientistsForFuture said, urging the world not to wait until the young activists are old enough to be involved in politics.