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Prof. Aseem Prakash in Nature, "The value of unrealistic targets: why some climate activists are unwilling to abandon the 1.5 °C target"

Submitted by Junhee Park on April 29, 2024 - 1:32pm

Prof. Aseem Prakash write in Nature about the value of unrealistic targets and why some climate activists are unwilling to abandon the 1.5 °C target.

The article delves into why certain climate activists and NGOs persist in supporting the 1.5°C target despite its growing perceived unattainability, contrasting with scientists who advocate for shifting focus to more achievable goals like the 2°C target. It argues that the 1.5°C target holds crucial political significance for NGOs, serving as a powerful rallying point for coalition-building across diverse sectors of the climate movement and enabling them to merge environmental and social justice concerns into a unified demand. Moreover, NGOs leverage the 1.5°C target to exert pressure on governments and corporations through public scrutiny and criticism, emphasizing the importance of clear targets in holding actors accountable. The differing perspectives between scientists and NGOs underscore the complexities of climate advocacy, with the article suggesting a need for finding common ground between scientific accuracy and strategic political mobilization to effectively advance climate policy.

"For many scientists, 'keeping 1.5 alive' provides a sense of false hope, and thus provides political cover for corporations and national governments to delay decarbonization."

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