In September, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung of Berlin released a compilation of eight reports, titled Radical Realism for Climate Justice – “ a civil society response to the challenge of limiting global warming to 1.5°C while also paving the way for climate justice. Because it’s is neither ‘naïve’ nor ‘politically unfeasible’, it is radically realistic.” Individual chapters, each available from this link , are written by a variety of international organizations and individuals. Of particular interest are the two from Canadian authors: System Change on a Deadline. Organizing Lessons from Canada’s Leap Manifesto and Modelling 1.5°C-Compliant Mitigation Scenarios without Carbon Dioxide Removal, by Christian Holz of Carleton University in Ottawa. Also of especial relevance for Canadians: A Managed Decline of Fossil Fuel Production : The Paris Goals Require No New Expansion and a Managed Decline of Fossil Fuel Production by Oil Change International, and Another Energy is Possible by Sean Sweeney.
In Chapter 5, System Change on a Deadline. Organizing Lessons from Canada’s Leap Manifesto authors Avi Lewis, Katie McKenna and Rajiv Sicora provide a broad-brush summary of the history and growth of The Leap movement, beginning with its launch in Toronto in 2015, tracing the need for coalition building, and concluding with a statement of its international potential, and its application in Los Angeles.
Chapter 8 , Modelling 1.5°C-Compliant Mitigation Scenarios without Carbon Dioxide Removal, is by Christian Holz, a post-doctoral fellow in Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University. His chapter reviews the recent technical studies about Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) and Bioenergy combined with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technologies, which some see as the route to achieving the 1.5°C global warming target. Holz’ assessment is that 1.5°C can be achieved without relying on on these technologies, “if national climate pledges are increased substantially in all countries immediately, international support for climate action in developing countries is scaled up, and mitigation options not commonly included in mainstream climate models are pursued.”
Chapter 1, A Managed Decline of Fossil Fuel Production : The Paris Goals Require No New Expansion and a Managed Decline of Fossil Fuel Production by Oil Change International is an update of its 2016 publication, The Sky’s the Limit , which makes the “keep it in the ground” case. For Canadians still reeling from the federal government’s purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline, this new report is a timely reminder of the dangers of continued investment in exploration and expansion of oil, coal and gas and the need for Just Transition policies.
Another Energy is Possible by Sean Sweeney of Trade Unions for Energy Democracy is a tight summary of his assessment that current energy policies are allowing energy consumption to continue to grow. Sweeney calls for a two-pronged solution: “ a shift in policy towards a «public-goods» approach that can liberate climate and energy policy from the chains of the current investor-focused neoliberal dogma, where the private sector must lead…. and … a shift towards social ownership and management so that energy systems can be restructured and reconfigured to serve social and ecological needs.” Sweeney states: ” The next energy system must operate within an economic paradigm that is truly needs-based and sustainable.”
The other worthy chapters of Radical Realism for Climate Justice are: Zero Waste Circular Economy: A Systemic Game-Changer to Climate Change by Mariel Vilella of Zero Waste Europe; Degrowth – A Sober Vision of Limiting Warming to 1.5°C by Mladen Domazet of the Institute for Political Ecology in Zagreb, Croatia; La Via Campesina in Action for Climate Justice by the international peasants movement La Via Campesina, and Re-Greening the Earth: Protecting the Climate through Ecosystem Restoration by Christoph Thies of Greenpeace Germany.