A reader asks why we continue to say that the Green Deal European legislation should be obligatory by 2030 when all the texts accept 2050 as a possible end date. We have already pointed out that in the UN texts the point of no return is 2030, as illustrated in the documents relating to the Sustainable Development Goals. However we believe that the European Commission itself puts it best in its analysis of what will happen if we do not act now.
“What if we do not act?
400,000 premature deaths per year today due to air pollution.
90,000 annual deaths as a result of heatwaves
660,000 additional asylum applications per year in the EU at 5°C temperature increase
16% of species at risk of extinction at 4.3°C temperature increase
40% less available water in southern regions of the European Union
2.2 million people exposed to coastal inundation each year
€190 billion annual losses projected for a 3℃ increase in global average temperature
Globally, the number of people at risk of being forced from their homes by river flooding could increase to 50 million a year
Climate change could lead to a 20% food price rise in 2050
Economic costs of heat-related mortality could amount to more than €40 billion per year
The longer we wait, the harder it becomes to reach low temperature targets and the more expensive the necessary efforts will become.”
We treat time, the most important resource we have, as if we had an infinite amount of it, when it is in fact a limited resource and we have no idea how much we have.