In an open letter published in Scientific American, over 240 scientists expressed their support for students around the world in their strike on 15 March and their demand for bold action to make sure the world they grow up in is livable.
Meanwhile more than 12,000 scientists have signed a statement started by researchers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland in support of the strikes and published by Scientists for Future, saying that those countries are not doing enough to keep global warming well below 2 °C — the aim of the 2015 Paris climate accord.
The Scientific American letter begins
Today’s elementary and high school students have lived their short lives on a planet measurably different than any other generation in the history of human civilization. Every year of their lives has been one of the warmest 20 years since records began, and they’ve also witnessed increasingly frequent, disruptive, and costly extreme weather events.
They recognize the battle for their future. Without aggressive action to reduce humanity’s carbon emissions, these students can expect to bear witness to a world we can’t fully imagine yet: one where irreversible changes to our water and food systems, our infrastructure and our economy, shape a planet and a society very different from what we see today, a world characterized by greater insecurity, uncertainty, and inequity that directly threatens their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.
It has already been more than 50 years since U.S. scientists formally warned the U.S. president of the dangers of human-induced climate change. Yet rather than being paralyzed by despair, these brave students are demanding bold, urgent action now to wean ourselves off fossil fuels and limit future warming to below 1.5°C.
For more visit the Scientific American website.
The Scientists For Future Statement Begins
At present, many young people have begun to demonstrate persistently for climate protection and the preservation of our natural resources. As scientists and scholars, and based on sound scientific knowledge, we declare: These concerns are justified and supported by the best available science. The current measures for climate, biodiversity, forest, marine, and soil protection are far from sufficient.
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change of 2015 obliges nation states under international law to keep global warming well below 2°C. In addition, all countries have promised efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 °C.
It is critical to immediately begin reducing net CO2 emissions and to eliminate them to zero worldwide between 2040 and 2050 at the latest. A more rapid reduction increases the probability of reaching 1.5°C. The burning of coal should be nearly ended by 2030, while the burning of oil and natural gas should be reduced simultaneously until all fossil fuels have been replaced by climate-neutral energy sources. Considering global climate justice, in Europe this change has to take place even more quickly.