Why was the SOS Planet initiative launched?
To avoid catastrophic consequences for humanity due to climate change, in 2015 almost all the countries of the world signed the Paris Agreement by which they committed themselves to containing in the long term the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5°C (maximum 2°C) compared to pre-industrial levels.
These commitments have so far not been translated into action. The global average temperature has, in fact, already risen by 1.2°C compared to the pre-industrial era and, if the growth trend of the last decade (0.25°C) continues, in 2100 we will have average temperatures exceeding 3°C above the preindustrial level, which is more than double the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The majority of the world leaders have today replaced this goal (1.5°C) with that of achieving net CO2 neutrality by 2050 which, if a few years ago seemed consistent with the goal of not exceeding 1.5°C relative to the pre-industrial average temperatures, is no longer so today. READ MORE
We are aware that anticipating the achievement of net CO2 neutrality by 2030 even for those countries representing only around 33% of global emissions (USA, Europe, Japan, South Korea and Canada) is an ambitious goal from technical, economic, and political points of view. Nevertheless, we believe it is worth communicating to citizens and politicians at the national, European, and global levels the scientific data and the climate risks arising in case we do not bring forward the target date for reaching net CO2 neutrality from 2050 to 2030 (at least for those countries responsible for 33% of the emissions) and do not speed up the process of decarbonization starting with small sacrifices on a personal level – Covid-19 has taught us a lot!
In light of the efforts to combat Covid 19 (far beyond those needed to become CO2 neutral by 2030), we want to prove that becoming net CO2 neutral by 2030 is an achievable goal. Above all, we want to prove that we can immediately do much more than what is currently being done – almost nothing – starting with the use of “carbon offsetting” as widely as possible both voluntarily and through the imposition of a carbon tax. READ MORE
Our Action Plan
First step – Gathering scientific evidence
Gathering scientific evidence to support the fact that, in order not to fall into irreversibility of climate change, we should become net CO2-eq neutral by 2030 and carbon negative after 2030 by reducing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere down to the equivalent of circa 350 ppm of CO2 by 2100 ⇒ Scientific Background
To prove that achieving net CO2 neutrality by 2030 is realistic from the economic standpoint, we encourage studies assessing the economic savings and greatest benefits (in terms of health, reduction of air pollution etc.) if we turn countries/cities carbon neutral by 2030 instead of 2050. READ MORE
Second step – Opinion polls
To understand whether the citizens of the world are ready to abandon fossil fuels by 2030 and in favour of the introduction of a carbon tax, in parallel with St Gallen University, we commissioned to Eumetra Mannheimer and YouGov opinion polls in ten of the most important world countries between January and July 2020. Based on such polls, about 2/3 of the respondents are in favour ⇒ Opinion Polls Summary
Results of the opinion polls per country:
1 Previous Survey (2019); 2 Previous Survey (2019); 3 In Switzerland, the survey was conducted by St Gallen University. This survey is part of a longer annual survey St Gallen has been conducting since 2011.
Third step – Calls to Action to build a growing CO2 neutral Community of individuals and cities (in progress)
Publish and communicate in the social media calls to action on governments and legislators, also at local level, to adopt laws/policies aimed at decarbonising their countries/cities by 2030 (as Basel is planning to do; Copenhagen will be carbon neutral in 2025 and Helsinki in 2035) on the basis of the broad scientific and popular consensus. We will also call on companies and individual citizens to become CO2 neutral immediately by abandoning to the extent possible the use of fossil fuels and by carbon offsetting the residual emissions of CO2. These calls to action should be backed by the most prominent people, corporations and institutions.
By doing that, we aim at creating a growing community of CO2 neutral individuals – with the goal of minimum 100,000 people within the next five years – professional associations and cities.
We will start with an ‘area test’ in one Italian municipality by suggesting the mayor to promote to the citizens, through a strong communication campaign, to become carbon neutral immediately. We are currently in touch with the representatives of the city of Genova. If the project succeeds, it will be proposed to other municipalities in Italy and abroad.
In parallel, we are working with an Italian consultancy firm to a project aiming at promoting with the Italian telecommunication companies a fundraising campaign to collect money to carbon offset, on a voluntary basis, the CO2 emissions of the donors. We will start with a flagship case in a small Italian town or municipality and we will then scale it up to Italy and other countries.
Fourth step – Public initiatives
Promote public initiatives, petitions etc. to ensure that appropriate laws/policies are implemented for the transformation of the countries/cities to achieve net CO2 neutrality by 2030 (i.e. Switzerland).
Scientists Warning Europe have issued two open letters on behalf of world leading scientists – one to the UK Prime Minister and the other to both the Italian and UK Prime Ministers – urging for a 2030 net-zero target.
Finally, we report this petition to the European Commission www.stopglobalwarming.eu which aims to introduce a price on CO2 emissions to combat climate change.
For the Italian version please click HERE