Prince Charles challenges Australia to COP26, plus the Amazonia for Life Initiative–protecting 80% By 2025. It’s the Earthrise Alliance, and the Global Methane Pledge.
Prince Charles Challenges Australia to COP26, Amazonia for Life Initiative, the Earthrise Alliance, the Global Methane Pledge
PRINCE CHARLES CALLS OUT AUSTRALIAN PM—POLITELY
Prince Charles has backed the British government’s call on Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other world leaders to come to the “last-chance saloon” COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow and “take the decisions that are vital now”.
Told that Mr. Morrison’s attendance at COP26 in early November was uncertain because of quarantine rules on his return to Australia, Prince Charles paused before saying: “Is that what he says, is it?”
He said his message for all world leaders was that “this is a last chance-saloon, literally. Because if we don’t really take the decisions that are vital now, it’s going to be almost impossible to catch up”.
The government is planning to deploy the royal family en masse at COP26, including not only Prince Charles – with his decades-long track record of environmental activism – but also the Queen, and Prince William and his wife the Duchess of Cambridge.
The Queen will attend a diplomatic reception, while the two princes will address the gathering and hold personal meetings with world leaders.
Speaking from his arboretum, Prince Charles used the interview to reveal his personal commitment to the cause, saying he now ran his 51-year-old Aston Martin on “surplus white wine and converted whey from the cheese-making process”. He also said he refrained from eating meat and fish two days a week, and dairy once a week, lambasting the “endless perverse subsidy regimes” for intensive agriculture.
Charles has for decades warned about the dangers of climate change and the need to protect the environment, often earning him ridicule. The future king said he had always been motivated by a desire to leave a better planet for future generations.
Prince Charles said it was gratifying but not satisfying to now find himself on the right side of the green argument, after many years of satire. “Having been rubbished and ridiculed for so long, they suddenly want me to help them,” he said. “I haven’t got an axe to grind. I only want to get the whole damn thing sorted.”
AMAZONIA FOR LIFE INITIATIVE: 80% PROTECTION BY 2025
Amazonia for Life: 80% Protection by 2025 Initiative “seeks to avert the tipping point in the largest forest on the planet.
80 x 25 is a vehicle by which the indigenous peoples across the Amazonia basin and allies are raising their voices to make a call to protect the Amazonia and safeguard its future. It’s led by the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA). COICA was founded in 1984 and is the umbrella organization of the indigenous federations of the Amazon Basin countries. It advocates for the rights of 511 nationalities and groups of indigenous peoples who live in the Basin which include close to 100 uncontacted communities.
Amazonia is a region that spans nine countries including Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Perú, Suriname and Venezuela. This encompasses a land area of approximately 8 ½ M km2 or 3 million square miles. (8,470,209 km2) (3,270,365.978 square miles). That’s an area almost the size of the entire United States.
Why does retaining at least 80% of Amazonian rainforest matter to us?
Right now, about 18% of Amazonia has been deforested. According to a 2019 article written by Thomas Lovejoy and Carlos Nobre in Science Advances, researchers determined if only 20-25% of Amazonia were deforested, it would cross the tipping point. Tipping point is defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC as “irreversible degradation of ecosystems that cannot be restored to their original baseline”. In other words, the possibility of a dieback of the entire ecosystem due to deforestation of unconnected parts of the rainforest.
How can you get involved? Click on the link to the 80×25 declaration in the Deeper Dive section of this story on our website (www.theclimate.org/episodes) or visit amazonia80x2025.earth
MEET THE EARTHRISE ALLIANCE
Here’s a curious group. They’re called the Earthrise Alliance, a philanthropic organization that converts Earth systems data in to relevant and actionable knowledge to combat climate change. And according to their website, they are “a team of policymakers, data scientists and designers committed to protecting our environment.”
But what do they do? EarthAlliance has found a niche in storytelling through satellite imagery. They believe the tens of thousands of satellite images made just over the past decade—can augment climate change stories in a more impactful way than ground-based photography, if educators scholars and media outlets would use them.
How? By using AI—artificial intelligence, and satellite imagery. Basically, the folks at Earthrise Alliance combine news stories, existing environmental data and satellite photos to create a big data visualization tool. Data visualization is the process of translating large data sets and metrics into charts, graphs and other visuals. If you’ve ever used Google Maps or Google Earth to find your home and directions to the next closest city, then you’ve used a massive data visualization tool.
And why does Earthrise Alliance matter to us? Innovation. Some of its team members helped build the initial Global Forest Watch. As reported earlier by The Climate Daily, it’s a program designed to monitor deforestation in almost real time through satellite imagery. Being able to “see” a climate story in your neck of the woods from the ground out to space and back again…
My only note to them might be to update their website. One of their “Stories with Perspective” is “Drought Monitor Declares California Drought-Free.” That’s from 2019, and sadly no longer true.
GLOBAL METHANE PLEDGE
Back in September, US President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made a joint announcement regarding the establishment of the Global Methane Pledge. The pledge commits all countries that sign onto it to reducing global methane emissions by at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.
Methane is 10-25x more potent than carbon dioxide as a GHG. Furthermore, scientists indicate that methane may be responsible for half the increase of heat the Earth is experiencing because of climate change.
Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program, Inger Andersen, said, “Cutting methane emissions is the best way to slow climate change over the next 25 years.”
That’s why severe reduction of it matters to us. And why we’re bringing it up today as it has reached a milestone moment. As of this episode, at least 30 major countries, representing about a third of all global methane emissions, have committed to the pledge. Additionally 20 major philanthropies have committed $200 million to support the implementation of the Global Methane Pledge.