Six Critical Steps to Halt The Climate Crisis
The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than many scientists expected. We have entered the sixth mass extinction event. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity. With few exceptions, we are largely failing to address this predicament. Additionally, we cannot go back to status quo post-pandemic. We must flatten both curves. This must signal the end of limitless growth economy. The increasing severity of the climatological crisis and the need for action that goes beyond election cycles and business as usual is now very clear. Things cannot go on this way any longer. Despite the outcomes, humanity has a moral obligation to act now.

To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live, in ways that improve the vital signs summarized by our graphs. Economic and population growth are among the most important drivers of increases in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion; therefore, we need bold and drastic transformations regarding economic and population policies. We suggest six critical and interrelated steps (in no particular order) that governments, businesses, and the rest of humanity can take to lessen the worst effects of climate change.

— Scientists’ Warning to Humanity

The Six Steps
Scientists Warning in cooperation with the Alliance of World Scientists present six critical and interrelated steps to lessen the effects of climate change that governments, organizations, policy makers and beyond can take to mitigate the worst outcomes of the climate crisis defined by the IPCC. These solutions are intended to address the corresponding legacy Scientists’ Warnings.


Further, A short video discussion by the AWS thought leaders on the Six Steps is now available (see below).

“The climate emergency is here and accelerating more rapidly than most scientists anticipated,” Wolf said. “People are frightened – an illustration of that is the more than 1,800 climate emergency declarations issued around the world, by jurisdictions encompassing more than 820 million people.” – Second Scientists Warning: The Climate Emergency: 2020 in Review at Scientific American.

Mitigating and adapting to climate change entails transformations in the ways we govern, manage, feed, and fulfill material and energy requirements. We are encouraged by a recent global surge of concern. Governmental bodies are making climate emergency declarations. The Pope issued an encyclical on climate change. Schoolchildren are striking. Ecocide lawsuits are proceeding in the courts. Grassroots citizen movements are demanding change. The world’s scientists are urging widespread use of the planetary vital signs and anticipate that graphical indicators will better allow policymakers and the public to understand the magnitude of this crisis, track progress, and realign priorities to alleviate climate change.

The good news is that such transformative change, with social and ecological justice, promises greater human well being in the long-run than ‘business as usual’. We believe that prospects will be greatest if policy makers and the rest of humanity promptly respond to our warning and declaration of a climate emergency, and act to sustain life on planet Earth, our only home. We must ensure that a post-pandemic world does not go back to the status quo, but rather implements degrowth strategies.

The full paper is free to read here.
Additional papers from AWS can be found here.

The Six Steps were developed by William J. Ripple, Christopher Wolf, Thomas M. Newsome, Phoebe Barnard, and William R. Moomaw. These steps are critical and interrelated. These steps are intended to advise our policy makers and to mobilize our entire society to act on the climate crisis and sixth mass extinction event now underway at a high level.