Although short-term local measurements of 400 ppm have been recorded previously, this marks the first time since record keeping began that CO2 levels were above 400 ppm globally for a month.
Already we’re seeing the deadly effects of climate change in the form of rising seas, monster storms, wildfires, and extreme weather of all kinds. Passing 400 ppm is an ominous sign of what might come next — and it sends a clear signal that the world must act ahead of the UN climate talks in Paris this December.
The only way to get there is to immediately transition the global economy away from fossil fuels and into into renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable farming practices.
The last time CO2 levels were this high, humans did not exist. Our dependence on fossil fuels is fundamentally changing the nature of the planet — and it’s time to act.
“If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced … to at most 350 ppm.”
Global Managing Director, 350.org Crossing the 400 ppm threshold is a somber reminder that we haven’t taken the action we need. Nevertheless there is good reason for hope — activists all across the globe are fighting the fossil fuel industry and demanding clean, just and affordable solutions to our energy needs.
“Reaching 400 ppm means that we have to intensify our campaign to stop financing fossil fuels. Building the climate justice movement in Africa is now about fighting for our survival and basic rights. True development must centre around renewable energy.”
“We’re in new territory for human beings–it’s been millions of years since there’s been this much carbon in the atmosphere. The only question now is whether the relentless rise in carbon can be matched by a relentless rise in the activism necessary to stop it.”
“Passing 400 ppm could have serious impacts for tropical biodiversity and food security in Brazil and Latin American countries. Together we are working to keep gas and oil in the ground.”
“If we expect to handle the rising carbon levels in the sky, we will have to start contending with the power on the ground.”