Climate quotes that defined 2021

December 27, 2021

As 2021 comes to a close, we have much to celebrate and be grateful for. The year is bookended by two very momentous climate occasions – in January 2021, President Biden re-joined the Paris Agreement on day one of taking office and in November 2021, after years of discussion and debate, the international community committed to rules for a new international carbon market at COP26.

Thank you to all the climate champions that worked to advance climate solutions throughout the year. 2021 climate highlights include a growing focus on racial and climate equity, raising ambition and taking action, and carbon pricing solutions. Here are the climate quotes that defined 2021 for us:

​* * *

“The call for climate justice has multiple dimensions, from ensuring an equitable transition to clean energy for vulnerable communities and workers disrupted by the move away from fossil fuels, to extending the benefits of our economy-wide shift to those who have historically been left behind. Even more than past environmental challenges, decarbonizing will not be a narrow, technical undertaking. We need a holistic, justice-centered perspective to shape our vision for a green economy and meet the pervasive environmental and socioeconomic challenges and opportunities ahead.”

“We have been abusing our planet as if we had a spare one. 2021 must be the year to reconcile humanity with nature. With smart policies & investments, we can chart a path that brings health to all, revives economies & builds resilience.”

“We’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis. We can’t wait any longer. We see it with our own eyes, we feel it. We know it in our bones. And it’s time to act. When I think of climate change and the answers to it, I think of jobs. These are not pie-in-the-sky dreams — these are concrete solutions. We are talking about American innovation, products, labor. We are talking about the health of our families, cleaner water, cleaner air … and the health of our communities. It is a future with enormous hope and opportunities.”

“The finance and agriculture sectors, and coastal economies, all are looking down the barrel of multiple and serious economic crash warnings. Their climate concerns have moved from their communications shops to their business operations and C-suites. Now they just need to align their political effort with their own stated policies. How hard is that?… The conditions are at last in place for a real solution. A new dawn is breaking, and there’s no need for my little candle against the darkness — my little pilot light can now go out. So instead of urging that it’s time to wake up, I close this long run by saying it’s now time to get to work.”

“Our responsibilities are to protect the health and environment of all Americans, including those historically marginalized, overburdened, underserved, and living with the legacy of structural racism…EPA has defined environmental justice as ‘the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.’ To succeed, we must infuse equity and environmental justice principles and priorities into all EPA practices, policies, and programs.

“While EPA has advanced environmental justice initiatives in the past, we have much more work to do. Too many communities whose residents are predominantly of color, Indigenous, or low-income continue to suffer from disproportionately high pollution levels and the resulting adverse health and environmental impacts. We must do better.”

“Job growth means green growth. One of the most effective ways to stimulate investment in our green transformation is through a price on pollution. Pricing pollution is not only cost effective, but drives down emissions and creates conditions for new innovation that grows the clean economy and will create jobs today—and long into the future.”

“We know we need to not only right historical wrongs across the state and across the nation. But empowering communities of color to craft solutions and lead at the local level, may be our best chance for solving this issue.”

“We must take concerted, nationwide action to address climate change. It’s one climate. We need to put politics aside and act as we watch its changes play out… States and cities are on the front lines of the climate crisis. But this is a problem that knows no borders. Climate change is playing out here now, with a fury, but it will be in your backyard next. People are dying. Congress must act, now.”

“Article 6 is vital to the success of the Paris Agreement because it enables ambition. The temperature goals set out in the agreement will only be realised if countries cooperate across borders and sectors, leveraging the innovation, ingenuity and investment of the private sector.

“Since the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015, the business community has urged nations to complete the accounting and integrity guidelines for international market cooperation. In order to reach the Paris goals, we need to scale up private investment through carbon markets as soon as possible.”

“We’re standing at an inflection point in world history. Cleaner air for our children. More bountiful oceans. Healthier forests and ecosystems for our planet. We can create an environment that raises the standard of living around the world. And this is a moral imperative, but this is also an economic imperative.”

“1.5C is the new 2C. The final decision reflects the intention to keep 1.5C not just alive, but front and centre of our efforts.”

“Innovate, accelerate, scale. When it comes to the climate crisis – winning slowly is the same as losing. To rebuild the world, we need to innovate, accelerate, and scale bold climate solutions.”

Comments are closed here.