Teenage activists and an IPCC triumph

Between 2007 and 2016, food production, agriculture, forestry and other human activities related to land use accounted for 21–37% of anthropogenic, or human-caused, greenhouse-gas emissions, the IPCC review says. These emissions could be reduced, it adds, if more land was available to absorb carbon. This could be achievable if more consumers reduced their meat consumption in favour of plant-based diets; more forests were protected and managed sustainably; and soils were replenished with organic content.

The youth climate movement’s members are brave, and they are right. It has been almost three decades since the three UN conventions — on biodiversity, climate and desertification — were agreed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. And it has been 31 years since the IPCC was created to advise decision makers. Yet environmental promises have not been matched by meaningful action.

Younger generations know, perhaps better than the adults, that the world might not have another three decades to prevent climate impacts that will be even more serious than those we face now. Politicians must act now.

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