Avoiding a doom loop required a more honest acceptance by politicians of the great risks posed by the climate crisis, the researchers said, including the looming prospect of tipping points and of the huge scale of the economic and societal transformation required to end global heating. This should be combined with narratives that focused on the great benefits climate action brought and ensuring policies were fairly implemented.
“We’ve entered, sadly, a new chapter in the climate and ecological crisis,” said Laurie Laybourn, an associate fellow at IPPR. “The phoney war is coming to an end and the real consequences now present us with difficult decisions. We absolutely can drive towards a more sustainable, more equitable world. But our ability to navigate through the shocks while staying focused on steering out the storm is key.”
The report said: “This is a doom loop: the consequences of the [climate] crisis draw focus and resources from tackling its causes, leading to higher temperatures and ecological loss, which then create more severe consequences, diverting even more attention and resources, and so on.”
It noted that, for example, Africa’s economy was already losing up to 15% of GDP a year to the worsening effects of global heating, cutting into funds needed for climate action and emphasising the need for support from developed countries, which emit the most carbon dioxide.