stub 10 Key Climate Insights Set to Inform and Guide Policymakers -
Connect with us


10 Key Climate Insights Set to Inform and Guide Policymakers

Updated on is not an investment adviser, and this does not constitute investment advice, financial advice, or trading advice. does not recommend that any security should be bought, sold, or held by you. Conduct your own due diligence and consult a financial adviser before making any investment decisions.

The 2023/2024 iteration of the ‘10 New Insights in Climate Science‘ has recently been released, providing a scholarly look at the most pressing issues surrounding climate change.  These reports are a joint effort put together by,

  • Earth League
  • Future Earth
  • World Climate Research Programme

This trio states that its efforts are the result of insights provided by ‘leading scholars from around the world'.  The end goal is meant to provide ‘credible guidance' to,

“policymakers responding to the urgent challenge of the climate crisis,”

Essentially, this report hopes to allow policymakers to take a more focused, targeted approach to battling climate change rather than making uninformed and ineffective decisions.

Schlolarly Insights

It is important to recognize that the following insights were not gathered to generate fear but to simply elucidate interested parties on what can be done moving forward.  With that in mind, here are the 10 insights shared, and examples of initiatives already underway meant to address each.

1. “Overshooting 1.5°C is fast becoming inevitable. Minimising the magnitude and duration of overshoot is essential.”

Unfortunately, it was agreed upon that in order to halt temperatures rising more than 1.5°C, radical changes are needed – and even then, it may not be enough.  This has led to a shift in approach toward the issue, which involves accepting the increasingly inevitable and making plans to avoid irreversible damage by “Minimising the magnitude and duration of the overshoot period,”.

What is being done about it currently?

In order to effectively halt a rise in temperatures, it is vital that we have accurate data tracking the progress and initiatives being put in place.  To that end, there is the ‘Climate Action Tracker‘ which is self-described as an “…independent scientific project that tracks government climate action” and its progress within goals set forth under the Paris Agreement.

2. “A rapid and managed fossil fuel phase-out is required to stay within the Paris Agreement target range.”

Only so much Carbon Dioxide can be released into the atmosphere before such greenhouse gasses cause irreversible effects, and if the scholars are to be believed, we are almost at that threshold.  Their recommendation is for first-world countries to lead the way in a transition away from reliance on fossil fuels and towards more sustainable practices.  As it stands, the pace at which this is occurring is not quick enough and needs to occur with much more haste.

What is being done about it currently?

At the forefront of this battle is the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).  The goal of IRENA is to help facilitate government transitions towards the use of sustainable energy sources and practices.  This means, in large part, phasing out the use of fossil fuels where possible.  Interestingly, we recently touched on the potential benefits of phasing out fossil fuels and the role that Electric Vehicles (EVs) may play in preventing millions of unneeded deaths globally each year.

3. “Robust policies are critical to attain the scale needed for effective carbon dioxide removal (CDR).”

As it stands, those behind the report believe that current practices aimed at the removal of CO2 are not sufficient.  Yes, reforestation efforts are commendable and helpful, but are simply not enough.  The report advises that other approaches that permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere are required.

What is being done about it currently?

Keeping Carbon Dioxide emissions in check is a monumental task that will take some innovative approaches.  An example of a company looking to tackle this that hopes it is up to the task is Climeworks.  Through the use of ‘direct air capture and storage (DAC+S)', Climeworks boasts that it can help dramatically reduce the environmental footprint of other companies that integrate its products.

Direct Air Capture involves the collection of CO2 from the atmosphere through a heated filtration system prior to being permanently stored underground.

4. “Over-reliance on natural carbon sinks is a risky strategy: their future contribution is uncertain.”

Re-forestation efforts are a wonderful thing that can bring balance back to not only the climate but also delicate animal habitats around the world.  Unfortunately, scholars are now uncertain if these efforts will suffice in the coming years and recommend supplementing them with more drastic and targeted approaches.

What is being done about it currently?

The Trillion Tree Campaign is the perfect example of an initiative already in action that is working to enhance our ‘natural carbon sinks' through reforestation.  While the report indicates that these efforts are no longer enough to get the job done, they are still beneficial and noteworthy nonetheless.

5. “Joint governance is necessary to address the interlinked climate and biodiversity emergencies.”

There may be nearly 200 countries around the globe, but we all live on the same planet – Earth.  If we expect to prevent a lingering climate crisis, those behind the paper indicate that any approach will need to be a joint effort, along with a greater commitment of financing towards the issue.

What is being done about it currently?

Currently, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is tasked with overseeing the ‘state of biodiversity' and ‘ecosystem services'.  While this outfit was only formed in 2012, it stands to hold an increasingly important platform as the battle against climate change becomes increasingly real.

6. “Compound events amplify climate risks and increase their uncertainty.”

Whether simultaneous or back-to-back, high-risk events for the climate have the potential to amplify one another, making an already dire situation even harder to contain and control.  This stark reality must be accepted if we expect to prevent compound events from wreaking havoc.  For this reason, the paper recommends that immediate, joint action among governments must be taken to plan for such scenarios.  It is noted that agriculture is particularly susceptible to compound events involving temperature changes.

What is being done about it currently?

One notable initiative addressing compound climate events is the “Resilience in the Face of Climate Change” program led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – an initiative focused on developing strategies to prepare for and respond to compound climate events.

This is a collaborative effort across various governments and communities that involves comprehensive risk assessment and management, incorporating climate projections and socio-economic data to anticipate potential compound events.

7. “Mountain glacier loss is accelerating”

If mountain glacier loss continues to increase, the report indicates that roughly 2 Billion people may experience effects ranging from flash flooding and water shortages in time.

The report indicates that “Present-day observations of glacier change reveal a loss of 267±16 Gt yr-1 with a clear acceleration over the last two decades. Globally, glacial mass loss is potentially around 12%  greater than previously reported, due to ice melt occurring below the water surface that is unaccounted for by available estimates” and that “New global glacier projections estimate that glaciers will lose between 26% (at +1.5°C) and 41% (at +4°C) of their current volume by 2100”.

What is being done about it currently?

The High Mountain Adaptation Partnership (HiMap) is one example of an initiative aimed at finding solutions to the loss of mountain glaciers.  It is tasked with not only raising awareness of the issue but also facilitating research into potential solutions.

8. “Human immobility in areas exposed to climate risks is increasing.”

A changing climate means that many areas that were once entirely habitable are becoming increasingly threatened.  While it is easy to say that residents of such regions should accept this reality and migrate to somewhere more hospitable, this is not always feasible or accepted.  Many regions now being threatened are culturally significant, boast rare ecosystems, or some other factor worth protecting.  In situations such as this, it is important to recognize these factors, and assist in efforts to plan for and adapt to a changing climate.

What is being done about it currently?

Currently, the Nansen Initiative is at the forefront of this issue.  It is described as a “…state-led consultative process to build consensus on a protection agenda addressing the needs of people displaced across borders in the context of disasters and the effects of climate change”.

9. “New tools to operationalise justice enable more effective climate adaptation.”

The report indicates that current adaptation plans continue to overlook justice aspects and face challenges like insufficient international funding and structural biases. However, recent advancements in this field do include the adaptation justice index, adaptation rationales, and Local-Led Adaptation (LLA), which advocate for equitable, community-led initiatives and transparent adaptation strategies. If successful, these approaches should create more inclusive and effective responses to climate change, addressing socio-economic structures that drive climate vulnerability.

What is being done about it currently?

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is one example of a group currently putting forth an effort to solve these issues.  The GCF was established within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and aims to support projects, programs, policies, and other activities related to climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries.  It strives to provide financial support, prioritize vulnerable societies, promote equitable access, and encourage participation in sustainability efforts among local communities.

10. “Reforming food systems contributes to just climate action.”

Currently, it is believed that global food systems account for 31% of greenhouse gas emissions.  Clearly, there is an urgent need for industry transformation to address climate change – and food insecurity, which disproportionately affects marginalized groups.  Current governance is said to be fragmented and often ignores social vulnerabilities and regional differences, leading to unsustainable and unjust practices.

Per the report, effective change requires inclusive, transdisciplinary engagement and region-specific solutions. Strategies must prioritize low-emission diets, production diversity, and food waste reduction, considering local contexts and curbing corporate influence.  Immediate action is crucial, guided by principles like sufficiency, regeneration, and equitable distribution, to reshape food systems sustainably.

What is being done about it currently?

This particular issue is currently being addressed by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), which works on making food systems more sustainable and equitable.  It strives to achieve its goal through partnerships with governments and businesses, food fortification (increasing nutritional content), capacity building, and various other tactics.  As it stands, GAIN already boasts a presence in 20+ countries.

Industry Players

For those interested in investing in environmentally conscious companies, make sure to check out the following three – each of which has undertaken notable environmentally-focused measures/initiatives.

*Figures provided below were accurate at the time of writing and are subject to change.  Any potential investor should verify metrics*

1.  Alphabet Inc.

finviz dynamic chart for  GOOGL

MarketcapP/E RatioEarnings Per Share (EPS)

Alphabet Inc., Google's parent company, is a leader in environmental sustainability, renowned for its pioneering eco-friendly initiatives.  Achieving carbon neutrality in 2007 and becoming the first major company to match its total electricity consumption with renewable energy in 2017, Alphabet stands at the forefront of sustainable corporate practices.  As the world's largest corporate buyer of renewable energy, it actively reduces carbon emissions significantly through its global projects.  With an ambitious goal to operate on carbon-free energy by 2030, Alphabet continues to invest in renewable technologies, making it an attractive choice for investors dedicated to environmental sustainability.

2. Unilever

finviz dynamic chart for  UL

MarketcapForward P/E 1 Yr.Earnings Per Share (EPS)

Unilever, a global conglomerate known for its consumer goods, is heavily invested in environmental sustainability.  The company has committed to halving its environmental footprint and becoming carbon-negative by 2030, a bold move in the industry.  With 26 of its brands already using 100% sustainable materials and significant reductions in CO2 emissions and waste since 2008, Unilever is making tangible progress. Its adoption of a Sustainable Agriculture Code and partnerships for eco-friendly packaging further underscore its dedication.  For investors focused on environmental impact, Unilever presents a compelling case of a company integrating sustainability deeply into its business model.

3.  Beyond Meat

finviz dynamic chart for  BYND

MarketcapForward P/E 1 Yr.Earnings Per Share (EPS)

Beyond Meat stands out in the food industry for its strong commitment to environmental sustainability.  Specializing in plant-based meat alternatives, the company addresses the significant environmental impact of traditional meat production.  Beyond Meat's products, such as the Beyond Burger, require substantially less land and energy and generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional meat.  This approach not only aligns with the growing trend towards plant-based diets but also positions Beyond Meat as a leader in sustainable food innovation.  For environmentally-conscious investors, Beyond Meat offers a unique opportunity to support a company actively contributing to a more sustainable food system.

Final Thoughts

The '10 New Insights in Climate Science 2023/2024′ presented a critical scholarly assessment of climate change challenges and potential solutions aimed at providing policymakers with credible guidance.  It emphasized a focused approach to combating climate change, outlining key insights.  These addressed issues such as the inevitable overshoot of the 1.5°C temperature rise, the need for rapid fossil fuel phase-out, effective carbon dioxide removal strategies, the risks of over-relying on natural carbon sinks, and more.

The comprehensive report not only informs but also guides action towards a sustainable future, emphasizing the need for urgent and collective efforts to address the multifaceted challenges of climate change.  While there are already examples of initiatives targeting each insight, there is always more that can be done, and based on the data referenced by the scholars responsible for them, must be done.

Joshua Stoner is a multi-faceted working professional. He has a great interest in the revolutionary 'blockchain' technology.