Monday, Nov. 3, 2014

Environment

Wanted: A Clear Picture from Gov't

Paul Kariya responds to UN climate announcement

Released by Donalad MacLachlan, Clean Energy BC

 

s human-induced climate change happening? Yes – unequivocally (said again with more conviction and evidence). 

 

The real question is: Will we as human-kind do anything seriously about curbing it and adapting to impacts (also once again)?

 

Sadly, some lowlights from the weekend report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:

• “Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.”

• “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.”

• “Surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century under all assessed emission scenarios. It is very likely that heat waves will occur more often and last longer, and that extreme precipitation events will become more intense and frequent in many regions. The ocean will continue to warm and acidify, and global mean sea level to rise.”

• “Many aspects of climate change and associated impacts will continue for centuries, even if anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are stopped. The risks of abrupt or irreversible changes increase as themagnitude of the warming increases.”

• It is only a small minority of scientists who differ on these matters.
The risk of global warming is real, threatening, and here. So, what can we all do about it? The report gives us a firm push:

• “Substantial emissions reductions over the next few decades can reduce climate risks in the 21st century and beyond, increase prospects for effective adaptation, reduce the costs and challenges of mitigation in the longer term,and contribute to climate-resilient pathways for sustainable development.”

• “Scenarios that are likely to maintain warming at below 2°C include more rapid improvements in energy efficiency and a tripling to nearly a quadrupling of the share of zero- and low-carbon energy supply from renewable energy, nuclear energy and fossil energy with carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS), or bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) by the year 2050.”

In short, the panel thinks we need to hit net-zero in emissions by 2050—in part by deriving 80% of the world’s power from low-carbon sources (compared with roughly 30% today.)

Members of Clean Energy BC and their parent companies are onside with all this. We are ready to up our game, and to play our part.

The question now, of course, is: Are our governments—and by “our” I mean more than just Canadian provincial governments and Ottawa—ready to up their game?

Let us now have from governments a full and clear picture of what they plan to do, how, and when. We in the clean-energy sector will do our part.

We have from the IPCC in its latest report a remarkably “full and clear picture” of the state of the world and its warming.
Let’s provide some hope and a pathway forward for our children and grandchildren.

 

For more information about CleanEnergyBC, visit www.cleanenergybc.org
 


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