Former United Nations climate secretary and Mission 2020 convenor Christiana Figueres is upbeat about what she foresees as an “explosion” of climate change action over the next 10 years, pointing toward “a very exciting moment” on the road to a cleaner, greener future.
“We are embarked on a transformation that is now unstoppable, irreversible, and more than anything else, it is exponential,” Figueres told a Reuters event in London earlier this month, at the close of this year’s UN climate conference in Bonn.
Declaring herself a “stubborn optimist”, she cited four key trends that she thought were cemented during COP 23: the fall of coal, the “explosion” of renewable energy, the rise of electric vehicles, and greater reliance on digital technology to counter climate change.
“All of this together…means that we are no longer on linear progress on climate change,” she told participants. “We have left that behind.”
But to deliver on that promise, countries will have to meet the Mission 2020 goal of setting global greenhouse gas emissions on a downward trajectory by the end of this decade. “If we have not bent the curve,” she warned, “we will have closed the door to 1.5°C, which is a tragedy.”