Dear global citizen,
Last November our colleagues in the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned us that unless global greenhouse gas emissions fall by 7.6 per cent each year between 2020 and 2030, the world will miss the opportunity to get on track towards the 1.5°C temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.
They urged that we would need quick wins to reduce emissions as much as possible in 2020, then stronger Nationally Determined Contributions to kick-start the major transformations of economies and societies. Without this, the 1.5°C goal would be out of reach before 2030.
None of us could have foreseen the COVID-19 pandemic, although remarkable foresight was shown by our colleagues and stakeholders at Johns Hopkins University, the World Economic Forum, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in hosting Event 201 last October to model the response to exactly such a Coronavirus pandemic, at the very time the virus began to infect people in Wuhan.
In the event the pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world to create a healthier, more equitable, more inclusive, more sustainable, more democratic, and more prosperous future. For the pause during lockdown created by the pandemic will result in a 7 per cent decrease in global emissions in 2020, just the kind of kick-start our world needs.
But we must achieve a further decrease of 7.6 per cent every year until 2030 to avoid climate and ecological disaster. This means we need to maintain the same decrease every year as if we were living in increasing lockdown. In the short-term, developed countries will have to reduce their emissions quicker than developing countries, for reasons of fairness and equity. However, all countries will need to contribute more to collective effects. Developing countries can learn from successful efforts in developed countries; they can even leapfrog them and adopt cleaner technologies at a faster rate.
There is increased understanding of the additional benefits of climate action – such as clean air and a boost to the Sustainable Development Goals. And now that you have had the opportunity to experience for yourself the benefits of this decrease in emissions and unsustainable economic activity, we as the guardians of international peace and prosperity, together with our colleagues and stakeholders including the WHO, the IPPC, the WEF, the Open Society Foundations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Greenpeace, the WWF, and many other such democratic institutions, ask your support for all the changes we urgently need to make to our world.
Although the individual experience of this reduction in activity will have varied widely between those living in developed countries like the US and UK, and those in sub-Saharan Africa or Asia, all of you will have noticed beneficial changes. Such things as cleaner air, a slower pace of life, less traffic noise, more time at home or with family (unless they are quarantined), more efficient systems of government led by science, healthier lifestyles through social distancing and mask-wearing, greatly reduced hospital admissions for common diseases, and increased self-sufficiency in food have already been achieved by governments across the world. All these gains can only be multiplied as we, and our colleagues and stakeholders, reduce emissions further year on year towards a healthier, more equitable, more inclusive, more sustainable, more democratic, and more prosperous world.
We are now calling on support from all 7.8 billion of the world’s population, which we aim to reduce by at least a billion over the next century with the help of our stakeholders and colleagues, by the way. Your vote will give us the democratic mandate so essential to our collective efforts to work together to Build Back Better.
If you have already received a digital identity under the ID2020 scheme, have been vaccinated against COVID-19, or have a Facebook or Twitter account, your vote will already have been registered automatically. Otherwise, please place your cross in the relevant box below.
Together we will build the new future, about which you will democratically informed at every stage.