IPCC Report 2022: is the funding gap just too big?

Green Angel Syndicate Founder and President Nick Lyth asks whether the monetary cost of reaching Net Zero is just too much to bear.  

Yesterday’s IPCC report on the Mitigation of Climate Change was launched at a press conference attended by more than 3,000 people around the world.  It offers solutions to problems that seem to have gone past the tipping point and calls for fundamental and urgent change in the management of carbon globally.

But there is a huge problem: a funding gap of between 3-6 times what is required in investment to achieve the goal of restricting warming to below 1.5 degrees. The sum is in trillions.

At the heart of the report is a startling admission: carbon dioxide removal is essential to achieve net zero.  Land use cannot compensate for delayed emission reductions in other sectors.  Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), or Direct Air Capture Systems (DACS) – the most developed processes by which we can mechanically remove carbon from the atmosphere – are essential.

But the possibility of achieving the change needed is facing one insuperable block.  The change outlined in the report is not affordable within the current constraints of existing technology.  Any economic solution would require innovation currently not visible in the area of climate change technology. And this requires a huge amount of investment.

Green Angel Syndicate Founder and President Nick Lyth asks: “How do we deal with a situation in which the means of protecting what is most valuable to all of us, our own lives and our children’s lives, cannot be accessed because we do not have enough money to pay for it?” 

In a blog post addressing this concern, Lyth goes on to say: “But we have got it wrong.  Money is our servant, not our master… Economic systems only exist to serve society. Money is neither an object or even a consideration. Survival is.” 

As with the rush to find a vaccine for Covid-19, money should be no object. The climate crisis is here now and this is also a case of fighting for our survival. “Current policy is not enough. Much more determination is required by those in government, and with it, the optimism to believe that we can make a difference,” says Lyth.

IPCC Report 2022: is the funding gap just too big?

By Abi Andersen07 Apr 2022