Kevin Anderson: “Rapid and deep emissions reductions may not be easy, but 4°C to 6°C will be much worse”

Dr Kevin Anderson is the Deputy Director of the UK Tyndall Centre and is an expert on greenhouse-gas emissions trajectories. He gave this lecture in 2011 warning of the VERY STEEP emissions decent required to keep global temperature increases under 2 degrees. It’s 80 minutes long and gives a very detailed answer to projected emissions reduction scenarios.



18 months later he is interviwed by Rob Hopkins for Transition Culture website, and the message is no better especially as  “Sandy” came and went and left a calling card costing up to $50 billion dollars for a weeks work.

“I think the rhetoric that we should not exceed this 2°C rise is still there. . . . . . It’s not just about our emissions now.  If you look at the emissions we’ve already put out into the atmosphere since the start of this century, and you look at what’s likely to be emitted over the next few years, then I think it tells a very different story.  It’s hard to imagine that, unless we have a radical sea-change in attitudes towards emissions, we will avoid heading towards a 6°C rise by the end of this century.  . . . . . . . .the Annex 1 (developed countries) .. . . . . In those parts of the world, the rate of reduction in emissions that would be necessary for us to even stay within an outside chance of avoiding dangerous climate change, characterised by the 2°C rise that we’re all internationally committed to, would be in the order of around 10% per annum.”                         

Film on what a 6 degree warmer planet ‘may’ look like from National Geographic ;

And some chilling words from Yvo de Boer the UN climate chief during the 2009 Copenhagen climate change talks who last year openly stated that the target of 2 degrees was ‘impossible’.

The IPCC’s fifth assessment report is due to be published in late 2013 and early  2014. “That report is going to scare the wits out of everyone,” Mr de Boer said  “I’m confident those  scientific findings will create new political momentum.”  He said superstorm Sandy may spur more Americans, and people elsewhere, to  consider the risks of climate change, but warned: “It’s a bit like being shocked  into stopping smoking when you’ve been told you’ve got terminal cancer.”

2015 – PEAK EMISSIONS, or the planet gets it ……

MORE SCIENCE – PROFESSOR KEVIN ANDERSON GAVE THIS HOUR LONG PRESENTATION IN MAY 2010. It is a discussion on the need to be clear what limiting global average temperature increase to 2 degrees above pre industrial levels MEANS.

Anderson explains the intricacy of “sharing” the remaining CARBON BUDGET between now and 2050 and harks back to the Stern Report which set 2015 as the date when carbon emissions must peak.


Below is a link to the slideshow.