What we’re witnessing is more than a climate crisis, we’re facing climate catastrophe and the outlook is grim. We’re already in the Sixth Mass Extinction event and we’re facing a potential global temperature rise of 18°C or 32.4°F by 2026. Merely declaring a climate emergency is not enough.
The Climate Plan advocates measures that can be taken in efforts to improve the situation regarding the climate, as well as regarding the health, prospects and wellbeing of people and life in general. These measures can and should be implemented immediately, in line with the current climate crisis.
Seventeen measures for immediate implementation
1. FOSSIL FUEL – Ban the use of coal and natural gas for heating, cooking and generating electricity. Stop supplying natural gas from utilities over pipelines. Ban sales of natural gas bottles. Use rationing of electricity supply from the grid to overcome bottlenecks in supply, until sufficient clean, renewable electricity can fully supply demand over the grid.
2. NUCLEAR POWER – Stop nuclear power plants from continuing to operate and start decommissioning existing plants. Study options for treating and storing waste from such plants.
3. WOOD AND BIOFUEL – Progressively ban the use of wood and other biomass for generating power, for driving vehicles or for other energy-related purposes. Impose fees on sales of biofuel, while using revenues to fund pyrolysis of biowaste and on return of the resulting biochar to the soil locally. Ban sales and installation of new woodburners. Ban sales or supply of firewood, woodchips, briquets, charcoal, etc. Impose annual fees through local rates on real estate that contain existing woodburners, open fireplaces, and traditional ovens and furnaces that use wood, while using revenues to fund rebates on local sales of clean electric alternatives such as heat pumps.
4. ROAD AND RAIL VEHICLES – Progressively electrify all trains and rail traffic, by imposing fees on trains that run on fossil fuel, while using revenues to fund conversion to or purchase of new electric trains. Progressively ban the use of vehicles with internal combustion in cities, first for one day in the week, then for two days a week, etc. Add fees to annual registration of vehicles with internal combustion engines, and use the revenues to fund rebates on registration of electric vehicles. Progressively close petrol stations and ban sales of products such as gas, diesel, petrol and further fossil fuel. Add fees to sales of fossil fuel and use revenues to fund rebates on clean public transport locally. Ensure there is public access to financial records. Set standards to reduce unnecessary vehicle noise, while ensuring sufficient sound is generated to warn people and wildlife.
5. AVIATION – Progressively ban aviation where flights are powered by jet fuel and other fossil fuel and biofuel. Impose fees on sales of such fuel and use revenues to fund rebates on electric airplanes that can take off and land on rooftops. Similarly, add fees to flights entering and leaving airports by airplanes using fossil fuel, while using revenues to fund electric airplanes that can take off and land on rooftops.
6. SHIPPING – Progressively prohibit use of bunker fuel and other fossil fuel in shipping. Impose fees on sales of bunker fuel, with revenues used to fund batteries and hydrogen fuel cells to replace traditional engines in ships. Impose fees on shipping of fossil fuel, with revenues used to clean up waterways and support wildlife conservation.
7. URBAN WASTE – Progressively make that zero % waste leaves each city, neither by road or boat transport nor through the sky, soil or waterways. Make that waste will be processed within each city, preferably pyrolyzed with biochar and nutrients returned to soils. Add sensors to rubbish bins and garbage collection trucks to ensure that no toxic products are disposed off, unless through collection points that ensure proper processing.
8. PLASTIC – Ensure that no plastic (or plastic parts) will be sold without permit and without fees high enough to ensure return of such items to approved collection points for safe disposal and processing. Ban single-use plastic, such as for packaging, drinking, etc.
9. DIET – Progressively ban sales of livestock products, unless supplied for medical purposes if no alternatives are available. Add fees to sales of livestock products, with revenues used to fund rebates on soil and water supplements that contain biochar and olivine sand in rural areas. In coastal areas, use revenues to assist enhanced weathering in waterways. Stop using antibiotics and hormones to stimulate growth in animals. Stop using crop to feed animals, unless for sales of petfood to pets held with a permit. Add fees on sales of products that have carbon dioxide, sugar, salt, flavors or coloring added, with revenues used to promote vegan-organic diet.
10. AGRICULTURE – Add fees on sales of nitrogen fertilizers and use revenues to fund rebates on biochar and enhanced weather in oceans.
11. WILDLIFE CONSERVATION – Ban chemical pesticides. Remove walls and fences that stop wildlife. Provide ways for wildlife to cross roads and highways. Set aside progressively increasing areas where no urban, agricultural, industrial development is allowed. Move existing buildings, agriculture and industries from such areas. Fund progress through annual fees imposed on real estate in areas zones for industrial, urban and agricultural development.
12. CONSTRUCTION – Add fees on sales of Portland cement, with revenues used to fund carbon-negative contruction material used locally. Fees must be high enough to progressively phase out use of Portland cement.
13. AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY – Prohibit dumping of agricultural and other waste in landfalls, prohibit burning of waste in open fires. Prohibit cutting down large trees without permits. Where permits are supplied, add fees to minimize deforestation, while using revenues to support reforestation and afforestation. Ensure that biowaste gets pyrolyzed, with the biochar returned to the soil locally. Add fees on local rates where soil looses carbon content, with revenues used to fund rebates where soil carbon content increases, such as when biochar and olivine sand are added or when new trees are planted.
14. COOLING – Ban sales of new air-conditioners, fridges and freezers that work with gases. Impose annually rising fees on existing items, while using the revenues from the annual fees to fund rebates on solid state products, including heat pumps.
15. INDUSTRY – Ban the use of cleaning, solvents and other products that result in further addition of greenhouse gases.
16. UNIVERSITIES – Encourage further study in the effectiveness of measures in all above areas. Compare what happens locally with what in other areas, to ensure the most effective policy tools are used locally to facilitate the necessary transitions. Government grants are to be given to studies that sufficiently care about above points.
17. FURTHER ACTION – Further lines of action will be needed to hold back the temperature rise. Some action requires further research and U.N. supervision. Some other action has low risk and, due to the urgency to keep temperatures down, testing and R&D should commence immediately. This applies in particular to ways to reduce overheating of the Arctic.
Examples of such measures are Marine Cloud Brightening off the east coast of North America, in efforts to cool the waters entering the Arctic Ocean. Proposals that need further study are the use of icebreakers during the northern Fall and Winter, to enable more heat to escape from the Arctic Ocean, thus reducing the risk of ocean heat destabilizing methane hydrates at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. That risk is high from late September when the sea ice starts closing off the Arctic Ocean, thus making it difficult for ocean heat to escape, while warm water is still being carried into the Arctic Ocean from the Atlantic Ocean. Denis Bonnelle has proposed to use icebreakers that travel in parallel and are interconnected to also clear the ice in between them.
While implementation of some of these lines of action requires U.N. supervision, much of the proposed action can readily be implemented locally without delay and the Climate Plan prefers speedy local implementation, with communities deciding what works best locally, provided that a community does take sufficient action to achieve the necessary dramatic reductions in each type of pollution, in line with the Paris Agreement to avoid a large temperature rise. Examples of implementation of some of these lines of action are depicted in the image below, showing examples of how progress can be achieved through local feebates.
The overview below also includes further possible action that could be considered. Importantly, the situation is that dire that even if all possible action as described is taken, this constitutes no guarantee that any humans will survive the coming decades.
The image below depicts how the above-mentioned measures line up in response to the threat.
In conclusion, the technologies and policy instruments are ready for implementation, so let’s stop delaying what’s needed so desperately, now is the time for comprehensive and effective action!