The Problem – Rising Greenhouse Gas Emissions
EMISSIONS RISE AND THE TIPPING POINT GETS CLOSER.
The International Energy Association which advises world government on energy/fossil fuel production, last week noted THE INCREASE in 2011 of 1 Gt of carbon emissions over 2010 (which in itself was a “record”). The 450 ppm Scenario of the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2011, which sets out an energy pathway consistent with a 50% chance of limiting the increase in the average global temperature to 2°C, requires CO2 emissions to peak at 32.6 Gt no later than 2017, i.e. just 1.0 Gt above 2011 levels.
“Under current policies, we estimate that energy use and (carbon dioxide) emissions would increase by a third by 2020, and almost double by 2050,” said IEA Deputy Executive Director Richard Jones.
“This would likely send global temperatures at least 6 degrees higher. Such an outcome would confront future generations with significant economic, environmental and energy security hardships,” he added.
In its recent report, The Critical Decade, the Australian government’s Climate Commission outlined a budgetary approach to avoid surpassing the danger limit. The Commission estimated that humanity can emit not more than 1 trillion tonnes of CO2 between 2000 and 2050 to have a 75% probability of avoiding the danger limit.
The graph details emissions reductions cuts necessary as time progresses. The last time anyone had a 5% emissions reduction was when Russia collapsed. The only international agreement in sight is the Durban Platform which will not be enforcable before 2020.
Currently we are 22% of the way through the budgetary timeline, but we have emitted 328 Gt of fossil fuel CO2, burning through nearly 33% of the budget. Thus we need to change our path soon from one of rising to decreasing annual emissions.
The IEA has its own 2°C scenario, in which emissions peak at 32.6 Gt no later than 2017. Although emissions increased by 1.6 Gt in 2010 and 1.0 Gt in 2011, they can increase no more than 1.0 Gt (total, not annual increase) between 2011 and 2017 to meet the IEA scenario.
The Financial Problem
More neo conservative governments globally are decrying emissions reductions. Canada has already pulled (SPOIL 1) out of the Kyoto Protocol in an effort to be the No 1 oil exporter from tar sands. Australia’s Queensland Government ( SPOIL 2) “put coal before coral” when responding to a damning report from UNESCO on ALL levels of government in Australia handling development on the Great Barrier Reef. But Premier Campbell Newman has made it clear he will not stop development in and around the reef despite the UNESCO threat to classify it as a World Heritage site in danger.
”There are 35 major development applications seeking approval within the next 18 months that would impact on the reef. The scale and pace of proposed development is out of control.”
This corporate mythology that growth of the existing economic system will guide the world to sustainability is dillusionary, as at least the I.E.A. have discovered.
Air pollution with Nitros Oxide levels off the charts in many parts of Europe are causing a return to levels last seen in the 1960’s, this in London.
MANY ECONOMISTS ARE NOW QUESTIONING THE REALITY OF POURING MORE DEBT INTO WHAT IS ALREADY A BIG BLACK HOLE. WHILST AUSTRALIA AND CANADA PUT ALL THEIR CHICKENS IN ONE SHRINKING BASKET – SUPPLYING CHINA – EUROPE AFTER 2 YEARS STILL TEETERS ON THE BRINK OF INSOLVENCY.
WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN HOW SUBSIDIES TO THE OIL INDUSTRY TOTAL $230-380 BILLION p.a. AND AN ADDITIONAL $190 BILLION p.a. is spent on Tar Sands production. http://awayfromitall.me/2011/12/16/show-me-the-money-o-k-cont/
WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN HOW THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY (City of London and Wall St) IS KICKING AND SCREAMING all the way to the legislature to STOP A FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS TAX which would raise hundreds of millions of dollars.
WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN HOW THE AVIATION & SHIPPING INDUSTRIES HAVE FAILED TO introduce regulations on international transport emissions.
WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN HOW TAX HAVENS SHUT OFF BILLIONS OF $’s from Government revenue
THERE IS ENOUGH MONEY TO FIX THIS – IT IS TIME FOR POLLUTER PAYS. For far too long environmental damage has not been factored into the “costs of doing business”, The idiotic situation exists whereby disasters such as the Gulf of Mexico oil rig fire and release of 4 MILLION barrels of oil into the Gulf is seen as being part of GDP GROWTH !!!
Emissions from international travel, (people or freight) REMAIN OUTSIDE THE KYOTO PROTOCOL and are NOT ASSESSED for their respective MASSIVE CONTRIBUTION TO GLOBAL WARMING. Aircraft emissions are 4% of global total and set to TRIPLE by 2020. Shipping emissions account for up to 4% of global total as 90% of trade is carried out by sea with 90,000 vessels pouring sulphur dioxide and other noxious chemicals into the atmosphere along coastal shipping routes. This says nothing of the regular shipping and marine disasters, such as the Costa Concordia or the idiotic situation whereby disasters such as the Gulf of Mexico oil rig fire and release of 4 MILLION barrels of oil into the Gulf is seen as being part of GDP GROWTH !!!
As a comparison U.S.A. and China account for 23% of global emissions EACH and the remaining 50%+ is divided amongst the other 192 countries. I.E. U.K. contributes 1.4%, Australia 1.4% etc etc.
THE EUROPEAN UNION IS RIGHTLY TAXING AIRCRAFT EMISSIONS on travel INTO the European Union from 2012, despite legal challenges from the U.S.A. and China.
Europe’s highest court gave unreserved backing to a hotly contested EU law charging airlines for carbon emissions on flights to and from Europe, a decision likely to escalate tensions with the United States and other trading partners.
All airlines flying to and from EU airports will buy permits under the European Union’s emissions trading scheme from 1 January 2012, the European court of justice ruled. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/dec/21/international-airlines-carbon-emissions
Oxfam estimates $80-100 billion could be raised anually to fund environmental initiatives from taxing shipping emissions The European Union has lead the way by including aviation in it’s tax regime this year. New moves have just been announced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to reduce sulpher content in bunker fuel emissions to less than 0.5% (from 3.5% in cargo shipping). http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2179508/eu-moves-sink-shipping-sulphur-emissions
Sulpher being the most carcinogenic and responsible for up to 50,000 premature deaths along shipping routes globally.
Shipping industry must regulate to reduce climate change impact and damage to health and environment LONDON (UK) July 18, 2005 –
Environmental groups said today that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is failing to protect the environment and human health from global shipping pollution.
GOVERNMENTS ARE AIDING AND ABETTING THE DETSRUCTION OF A LIVEABLE PLANET BY SHORT SIGHTED DECISIONS DESIGNED TO RESTART A FAILED SYSTEM.