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‘Humanity’s exploitation’ of land hastens climate change, United Nations’ IPCC says

| | August 12, 2019
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[August 8] brings yet another devastating report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this time outlining how humanity’s exploitation of land is contributing to climate change. The big takeaway: Cutting out fossil fuels, which the United Nations panel has called for repeatedly, isn’t enough. We as a species need to fundamentally transform our relationship with the land to stand any hope of fighting climate change.

“There are still people talking about, ‘OK, well let’s reduce our emissions quickly and then we’ll be fine,’” says Janos Pasztor, executive director of the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative, who wasn’t involved in the report. “We won’t be fine. It’s not enough.”

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It’s not enough because cutting emissions doesn’t fix the broken systems that underlie it. This new report takes steps to quantify how our abuse of the land—deforestation, industrial agriculture, draining of carbon-capturing peatlands—is driving climate change, and in turn how that climate change is exacerbating the degradation of land the world over. It’s a vicious circle the human species has to break, and fast.

Take our unhealthy relationship with meat. Demand has skyrocketed in recent decades, in part because booming economies are bringing the poor into the middle class.

Read full, original article: New IPCC Report Shows How Our Abuse of Land Drives Climate Change

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