Dr. Hoesung Lee, chair of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), Alok Sharma, President of the COP26 summit, outgoing COP president Carolina Schmidt, Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive-Secretary and UNGA President Abdulla Shahid, from right, attend the Procedural Opening of the COP26 U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. The U.N. climate summit in Glasgow formally opens Sunday, a day before leaders from around the world gather in Scotland's biggest city to lay out their vision for addressing the common challenge of global warming. Credit: Alberto Pezzali

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The newly released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report says that it’s “now or never” if the world is to stave off climate disaster.

After a report like this, we cannot go on with “business-as-usual.” Any policy that doesn’t include phasing out fossil fuels is not a real climate plan. “Net zero” pledges are not going to get the job done, we need real zero.

“Net zero emissions” does not mean “zero emissions.” In many cases, it means the exact opposite and is instead used as a polluter-driven greenwashing scheme.

Instead of relying on unproven future technologies, we demand climate plans that radically reduce emissions to zero.

We must put pressure on our government officials to read the IPCC report and pledge commitment to real zero emissions. Going on with the “business-as-usual” is both unethical and unsustainable, so let’s make sure that those we entrusted to govern keep our collective future as their primary driver.

Colin Vettier

Portland