Today’s carbon emission rates are dangerously unsustainable, and profound changes must be made in order to create a better future. We only have a few years to halt rising emissions before we lose the chance to contain future climate change at or below the 2°C target. DCYale believes that the Yale community can help lead the way to a sustainable society.
• Words from the Yale community:
“Leaving the guilt behind means we can approach the issue from a whole new angle — we can view ourselves as part of the solution, not as part of the problem.”
—Emmet Hedin, ’17 “A Drop in the Ocean” (YDN, 10/08/14)
“We need a carbon tax, but we need a carbon tax because it will change behavior.”
—Abigail Carney, ’15 “We are Terrified” (YDN, 10/12/14)
“Global climate change and its consequences are critical challenges of our time…The responsibility for more sustainable practices falls not simply to the institution: it rests as much on us as individuals. As a social psychologist, I know how challenging it can be to change long-standing habits and practices. But this is precisely what we must do – and do every day – to ensure a sustainable world.”
President, Yale University (8/27/14)
• Where are we at?
In 2012 Pricewaterhouse estimated the global economy needed to decarbonize at more than 5% per year through 2050 in order to meet global emissions targets and avoid catastrophic warming at levels higher than a 2°C increase.
Pricewaterhouse’s call for decarbonization of the global economy has since then moved from 5.1% up to the current 6.2%, as of September 2014. Western countries with high emissions are expected to decarbonize more rapidly than developing nations.
Kevin Anderson, deputy director of the Tyndall Centre in the UK, estimates that the wealthy economies, with higher per capita emissions, need to decarbonize at a rate of 10% per year to meet the 2°C target. 8% sets a goal between the markers.
• A global effort — decarbonization in reports and news media
“How ignoring climate change could sink the U.S. economy.”
Robert Rubin analyzes climate change and risk in the Washington Post (07/24/14).
“Bipartisan Report Tallies High Toll on Economy From Global Warming.”
Justin Gillis’ coverage in the New York Times (06/24/2014)
“Taking Effective Action Against the Unstoppable: Carbon Cuts Now Won’t Stop Climate Change, but Could Limit Damage.” Eduardo Porter in the New York Times (06/24/2014)
“Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States” — a report from Risky Business (Bloomberg, Steyer, Paulson) (June 2014). Also, Former Treasury Secretaries Hank Paulson and Robert Rubin’s discussion on the CNN, stemming from the report.
Can Yale alumni and students show the way to achieving the 2°C target? Read and sign the UNSDSN letter for the 2°C limit, holding nations to their commitment to a 2°C maximum warming.
Check out Pathways to Deep Decarbonization, a multinational report in support of the limit, and the analysis by Eduardo Porter on the New York Times (07/08/2014).
Our talk with Eric and David Wei (’00); David is a climate diplomat for the Marshall Islands:
Hans Rosling explains the future in under four minutes:
A collection of other reference videos.