Jeffrey Sachs is a guiding star of sustainable development, which is why I wanted to feature him in my weekly segment Occhio al futuro. He’s an esteemed academic, a dynamic promoter of a necessary transition and is President of the United Nation’s SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Network).
We interviewed him to talk about decarbonization and how reaching zero emissions by 2050 is a crucial goal for the entire world.
Cristina: Professor Sachs joins us again from New York, he’s one of the world’s leading experts on sustainable development. Bentornato, thank you for being with us again. 2050, decarbonization, really the end crucial goal. How can you guide us to understanding obligations and solutions, also how relevant and important it is to act now?
Prof. Jeff Sachs: We need to stop emitting greenhouse gases that are warming the planet and most importantly the carbon dioxide coming from fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas. In order to do that, we need to change our very energy, from fossil fuels, to wind and solar and hydro and other low carbon energy. We need to change our transport from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles we need to use clean energy to produce clean fuels like hydrogen. Splitting water to make hydrogen that can be used by industry and we need to stop chopping down the forests which emit carbon dioxide as well. These are the basic pillars. This is a dramatic change because the energy system is at the core of a modern economy, it will take us some decades to do. 2050 has been set because if we don’t decarbonize by 2050 we are likely to experience rises of temperatures beyond the 1,5 C warming that could lead to runaway climate disasters. So, 2050 is a really tough timeline to achieve this because of all the time it will take to replace the vehicles, for the new infrastructure, for the new power plants, but it can be accomplished, this is what serious studies are showing. We can do this, and we can do this in an affordable manner and must urgently move now so that by 2050 we are at zero net emissions of greenhouse gases.
Cristina: In the reports that you have been responsible for compiling, the most encouraging aspect to me was the job opportunities. Could you briefly sum up what we’re looking at?
Prof. Jeff Sachs: There’s a lot of new jobs and new clean green industry that will be created from this transformation. And the truth of the matter is the old fossil fuel sector that has to go away, basically over time, was so capital intensive, it didn’t have so many jobs. We’re going to see a net creation of jobs in the new green digital world.
Cristina: This is the greatest challenge of our time, let’s turn it into an opportunity. Occhio al futuro
On air 4/17/2021