Mark Logan has called for urgent the “adoption of climate technologies” to avoid the current trajectory of reaching “catastrophic warming” by the end of the century.
The former Skyscanner chief operating officer revealed his fears for the planet at an event on Tuesday, organised by the Glasgow Chambers of Commerce.
He also revealed “low expectations” for the COP26 climate summit, bemoaning world leaders’ “ambitious” plans to reach net zero emissions by 2050, arguing it was more of a “politically convenient” date, as it would be past the current politicians’ tenure.
“This is a wartime situation – I can’t think of a more terrifying scenario put before the human race,” Logan stated. “If we continue as we are and all those commitments are made and are delivered, we will reach a point of catastrophic warming in less than 80 years time – and the best advice we can give to our children would be not to have any children of their own.”
Painting a bleak picture of the future, he predicted a world of chaos, water and food shortages, mass migration and extreme weather conditions.
“We should all have very low expectations for COP26 – we saw in the last Paris conference six years ago the cheering and rapture to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees, but since then we have accelerated emissions, even if we had warm speeches from world leaders.
“The best the governments can do is put masses of money into developing technologies – and some of them are doing that – secondly tax pollution accordingly to damaging fuel sources, which they won’t do, but they should do, and then phase out subsidies over five years – that horrifies a lot of people, but would make an enormous difference.”
Logan continued: “There is a point in which these conferences become what they really are, which is almost a waste of time, unless we act very very significantly, because we won’t be able to stop climate change.”
He also complained about the advancement of technology, arguing it was the primary cause for accelerating the “pending climate catastrophe”, pointing out that a lot of tech investment is still into things like exploring unviable oil fields.
However, Logan noted that climate tech could be the “seeds of our salvation”, along with other significant measures, suggesting that society has failed to estimate the development of technology.
“The more we adopt technologies, the better we get at making them, so the more we adopt, the more important technologies get,” he stated.
In this regard, Scotland has the potential to become a “demonstrator economy”, showing to the world that there is an economic case for achieving net zero emissions and allowing the country to use its expertise to become a world leader in adoption and optimisation of green technologies.
However, Logan bemoaned the UK and Scottish Government for failing to act fast enough, comparing their approach to Norway, which already has around half of its population driving electric vehicles, due to government subsidies and rolling out electric chargers.
“We are woefully behind in doing that in the UK – and that includes Scotland – that is kind of like an own goal,” he stated.
Concluding the presentation, Logan said: “We are already dangerously close to irreversible climate acceleration” and that the early adoption of climate tech is the only way to solve the problem.
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