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Olivia Rosane Jun. 04, 2019 07:13AM EST
A new report warns that climate change could displace more than a billion people, leave two billion without regular water access and lead to a breakdown in international order by 2050 if nations do not increase their commitments under the Paris agreement.
“Climate change now represents a near- to mid-term existential threat to human civilization,” the report authors conclude.
The new assessment comes from the Melbourne, Australia-based think tank Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration and was written by Breakthrough’s research director David Spratt and former Royal Dutch Shell senior executive Ian Dunlop. The authors use the dire scenario outlined in the report to call for a massive international mobilization towards a zero-emissions economy on the scale of efforts seen during World War II.
“A high-end 2050 scenario finds a world in social breakdown and outright chaos,” Spratt told Vice. “But a short window of opportunity exists for an emergency, global mobilization of resources, in which the logistical and planning experiences of the national security sector could play a valuable role.”
The report authors have a major endorsement from that sector in the figure of retired Admiral and former Chief of the Australian Defence Force Chris Barrie, who wrote the paper’s foreword.
“David Spratt and Ian Dunlop have laid bare the unvarnished truth about the desperate situation humans, and our planet, are in, painting a disturbing picture of the real possibility that human life on earth may be on the way to extinction, in the most horrible way,” Barrie wrote.