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Posts Tagged ‘Carbon emissions’

The necessity of pulling carbon dioxide out of the air

Posted by hkarner - 9. Dezember 2019

Date: 05‑12‑2019

Source: The Economist

But it is difficult to do at the scale you need

Of the wisdom taught in kindergartens, few commandments combine moral balance and practical propriety better than the instruction to clear up your own mess. As with messy toddlers, so with planet‑spanning civilisations. The industrial nations which are adding alarming amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere—43.1bn tonnes this year, according to a report released this week—will at some point need to go beyond today’s insufficient efforts to stop. They will need to put the world machine into reverse, and start taking carbon dioxide out. They are nowhere near ready to meet this challenge.

Once such efforts might have been unnecessary. In 1992, at the Rio Earth summit, countries committed themselves to avoiding harmful climate change by reducing greenhouse‑gas emissions, with rich countries helping poorer ones develop without exacerbating the problem. Yet almost every year since Rio has seen higher carbon‑dioxide emissions than the year before. A staggering 50% of all the carbon dioxide humankind has put into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution was added after 1990. And it is this total stock of carbon that matters. The more there is in the atmosphere, the more the climate will shift—though climate lags behind the carbon‑dioxide level, just as water in a pan takes time to warm up when you put it on a fire. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Greta Thunberg accuses rich countries of “creative carbon accounting”

Posted by hkarner - 18. Oktober 2019

Date: 17-10-2019
Source: The Economist

When it comes to measuring national emissions, she has a point

IT IS 5AM, and New Covent Garden Market is in full swing. On its swarming 57-acre site in Battersea wholesalers are flogging fruit, vegetables and flowers to London’s greengrocers and restaurateurs. Costa Rican pineapples are stacked next to Kenyan passion fruits and Peruvian asparagus. Rows of Danish conifers sit by buckets of Dutch roses. Fresh produce shipped from all around the world is for sale.

But what is a boon to chefs—and apologetic spouses—has become a mind-bending problem for politicians and regulators. Under mounting public pressure they are busy setting targets to limit their carbon emissions. At least 60 countries and over 100 cities have promised to get to “net zero”. The trouble is that few account fully for the emissions created by products that are consumed within their borders but produced outside them.

Take, for example, a bunch of those Dutch roses. Britain’s “net-zero” target for its carbon impact includes only domestic emissions—the lorry trip carrying them on British soil, and so on. These carbon emissions are trivial in comparison to the 30kg or so from heating greenhouses in the Netherlands and flying the roses to Britain. Through a production lens, Britain looks relatively virtuous. Through a consumption lens, it does not. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Our Zero-Emission Future

Posted by hkarner - 15. April 2019

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, The Age of Sustainable Development, Building the New American Economy, and most recently, A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism.

A low-cost shift to clean energy is now feasible for every region of the world, owing to the plummeting costs of solar and wind power, and breakthroughs in energy storage. The total system costs of renewable energy, including transmission and storage, are now roughly on par with fossil fuels.

NEW YORK – The solution to human-induced climate change is finally in clear view. Thanks to rapid advances in zero-carbon energy technologies, and in sustainable food systems, the world can realistically end greenhouse-gas emissions by mid-century at little or no incremental cost, and with decisive benefits for safety and health. The main obstacle is inertia: politicians continue to favor the fossil-fuel industry and traditional agriculture mainly because they don’t know better or are on the take.

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California leads subnational efforts to curb climate change

Posted by hkarner - 18. September 2018

Date: 15-09-2018
Source: The Economist

Local authorities and companies are crucial if global carbon-emissions targets are to be met

SUPPOSE Britain’s prime minister ordered civil servants to make the world’s fifth-biggest economy fully carbon-neutral by 2045, and thereafter to extract more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than it emits. In a sense that is what happened on September 10th, when Governor Jerry Brown of California—whose economy last year overtook Britain’s—inked an executive order mandating state agencies to begin such preparations.

He had just signed into law a bill setting the same 2045 deadline for the state’s complete transition to renewable and other zero-carbon electricity. The bill could be revoked by a future legislature, and the order by Mr Brown’s successor. But the Golden State’s inveterate environmentalism makes that unlikely. Californians, the outgoing governor has made clear, remain committed to the Paris agreement of 2015, in which countries vowed to keep global warming “well below” 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels, and ideally to no more than 1.5°C. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Negative-emissions technology

Posted by hkarner - 18. November 2017

Date: 16-11-2017
Source: The Economist

What they don’t tell you about climate change

Stopping the flow of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is not enough. It has to be sucked out, too

TWO years ago the world pledged to keep global warming “well below” 2°C hotter than pre-industrial times. Climate scientists and campaigners purred. Politicians patted themselves on the back. Despite the Paris agreement’s ambiguities and some setbacks, including President Donald Trump’s decision to yank America out of the deal, the air of self-congratulation was still on show among those who gathered in Bonn this month for a follow-up summit.

Yet the most damaging thing about America’s renewed spasm of climate-change rejection may not be the effect on its own emissions, which could turn out to be negligible. It is the cover America has given other countries to avoid acknowledging the problems of the agreement America is abandoning. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Paris will Dieselautos ab 2024 verbieten

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2017

Bis 2030 sollen keine Verbrennungsmotoren mehr in Paris zu hören sein.

Paris. Paris will bis 2030 alle herkömmlichen Autos aus der Stadt verbannen. Laut einem am Donnerstag vorgestellten Luftschutzplan sollen ab 2024 keine Dieselfahrzeuge mehr fahren, ab 2030 sollen die Benziner folgen. Ziel sei, Paris „mittel- und langfristig zu einer CO2-neutralen Stadt zu machen“, so die Stadtverwaltung.

Damit will Paris Vorgaben der französischen Regierung früher umsetzen als geplant. Umweltminister Nicolas Hulot hatte angekündigt, bis 2040 den Verkauf von Dieselautos und Benzinern stoppen zu wollen.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Sucking Up CO2 Will Cost Hundreds of Trillions

Posted by hkarner - 20. Juli 2017

Date: 19-07-2017
Source: Technology Review

Study finds that if the world doesn’t begin cutting emissions soon, the price of capturing and storing carbon dioxide will soar.

Start saving your money, kids.

Unless we start cutting carbon dioxide emissions soon, it’s going to cost today’s young people as much as $535 trillion to clean up the atmosphere by 2100, according to a study published on Tuesday evening. By way of context, that’s around seven times the size of the entire global economy.

In contrast, if the world starts reducing emissions 6 percent a year by 2021, it will only cost $8 to $18.5 trillion to extract enough carbon dioxide to avoid the worst dangers of climate change, or $100 billion per year on the low end. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The U.S. and Europe Are Mostly to Blame for the Climate Conundrum

Posted by hkarner - 2. Dezember 2015

Date: 02-12-2015
Source: Technology Review

The future emissions of China and India are of huge global concern, but richer countries are responsible for most of the carbon dioxide humans have added to the atmosphere.

WHY IT MATTERS: To avoid devastating climate change, the world must cut emissions 40 to 70 percent by midcentury.

A major point of contention during this week’s climate negotiations in Paris is the question of who should be most responsible for the cost of transforming the world’s energy system. And while the need to curb rising emissions from major developing nations is one of the most urgent issues on the table, there is no ignoring the huge amount of heat-trapping gas that richer countries added to the atmosphere well before developing nations began emitting at a high rate.

Fast-growing economies like China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia are now among the world’s biggest yearly emitters and will drive most future emissions growth. But from a cumulative standpoint, wealthier nations are way out in front. That’s important, because the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide linger for centuries (see “Climate Change: The Moral Choices”), and the long-term climate consequences will hinge on the cumulative amount of carbon dioxide we emit globally.

Climate NewcomersIn its most recent climate assessment report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated that in order for the world to avoid warming of more than 2 °Cumulative CO2 emissionsC, the total amount of carbon emitted since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution must be held to less than a trillion metric tons. The panel also reported that by 2011 we’d already emitted just over half that much. Much of that was due to the United States and wealthy European nations. The chart below shows the cumulative emissions since 1850 for each of today’s top 10 yearly emitters (listed left to right).

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Carbon and inequality: From Kyoto to Paris

Posted by hkarner - 2. Dezember 2015

Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty 01 December 2015, voxeu

Coordinator, World Inequality Report; Research Fellow, Institute for Sustainable Developmment and International Relations; lecturer, Sciences Po Paris

Professor, Paris School of Economics; and CEPR

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The Right Price for Preserving Our Climate

Posted by hkarner - 30. November 2015

Photo of Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde is Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. She previously served as France’s finance minister from 2007-2011, and in 2009 was named by the Financial Times as the best finance minister in the eurozone.

NOV 30, 2015, Project Syndicate

WASHINGTON, DC – When world leaders convene in Paris this week for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, their task will be to reach a global agreement on curbing greenhouse-gas emissions. A successful outcome, demonstrating that countries can work together for the good of the planet, would send a powerful message of hope to the world – and to the people of Paris, who remain unbowed after the recent terrorist attacks.

Climate pledges will be made on the basis of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), or commitments to the reduction of emissions worldwide. I believe that the price of emissions should be at the center of these pledges.

Achieving a decline in greenhouse-gas emissions at the lowest possible cost requires a revolution in energy use and production. Gradual, predictable, and reliable increases in energy prices would provide strong incentives for consumers to reduce their energy bills. At the same time, the right carbon price would enable a smooth transition away from fossil fuels by encouraging investments in technological innovation. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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