Bowerman N.H.A.,University of Oxford |
Frame D.J.,Victoria University of Wellington |
Huntingford C.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology |
Lowe J.A.,UK Met Office |
And 2 more authors.
Nature Climate Change | Year: 2013
Some recent high-profile publications have suggested that immediately reducing emissions of methane, black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) may contribute substantially towards the goal of limiting global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels. Although this literature acknowledges that action on long-lived climate pollutants (LLCPs) such as CO 2 is also required, it is not always appreciated that SLCP emissions in any given decade only have a significant impact on peak temperature under circumstances in which CO 2 emissions are falling. Immediate action on SLCPs might potentially 'buy time' for adaptation by reducing near-term warming; however early SLCP reductions, compared with reductions in a future decade, do not buy time to delay reductions in CO 2. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
News Article | February 1, 2016
Advice submitted to the UK government by its own Climate Change Committee has come under heavy fire, and been labelled as “desperately disappointing.” The UK Climate Change Committee (CCC) was due to provide updated recommendations to the UK government this week following in the wake of the climate accord struck in Paris in December last year. However, in a letter to the UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Amber Rudd, the CCC reiterated its earlier 5th carbon budget recommendations. “The Paris Agreement has greater long-term global ambition than current UK targets assume,” the CCC conceded in their letter. “But the pledged contributions by the EU and others have not yet changed. On that basis we repeat out recommendation that the fifth carbon budget be legislated at 1,765 MtCO2e.” To be fair to the Climate Change Committee, they go on to immediately note that the Paris Agreement, “combined with the requirements under the Climate Change Act, make it clear that this is the minimum level of UK ambition necessary. It should be met through domestic effort, and will require new policies and plans to be set by the Government during this Parliament.” Unsurprisingly, however, given the CCC’s decision to keep its recommendations unchanged, it has come under heavy criticism. “This is desperately disappointing advice from the government’s climate advisor,” said Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth CEO. Going on: “Last month the international community agreed to ‘pursue efforts’ to keep global temperature rises to 1.5C – the Committee on Climate Change should have provided comprehensive advice and guidance on what measures the UK needs to take to help achieve this. “The positivity and back slapping of Paris will fade very soon, unless our official advisory and regulatory bodies realise what governments signed up to in December – and work out what it means for action back home.” There has also been some more steadied responses to the CCC’s decision. “The climate agreement that all countries struck in Paris last month is likely to accelerate progress towards a global low-carbon economy, and so it’s entirely right that the Committee looked again at its advice to ensure that the UK wouldn’t be left behind,” said Richard Black, Director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU). Going on: “It’s concluded that if the UK meets the existing carbon budgets, we’ll be cutting emissions as far and as fast as comparable countries, which is clearly sensible. “But the Committee also pointed out that we currently have little idea how this government intends to reduce emissions, let alone ensure energy security; having spent its first six months emptying the energy policy cupboard, it has yet to re-stock and thereby give investors the confidence they need to get us back on track.” Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | April 5, 2016
China's carbon emissions account for a quarter of the worldwide total. Researchers said its carbon emissions may have peaked already and this could impact the global effort to fight climate change. Less than two years ago, the United States urged the Chinese government to commit to a 2030 deadline to reverse its increasing greenhouse gas emissions. "The government will use two ways to control CO2 emissions in the next five-year plan, by intensity and an absolute cap," said China's Advisory Committee on Climate Change chairman He Jiankun in 2014. How This Could Impact Global Efforts To Curb Climate Change If China is able to curb the emissions of its main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, over a decade before the original deadline, its success can provide much-needed energy to the global efforts aimed at meeting the 2-degree Celsius consensus. This preindustrial level is deemed a challenging task; however, it is critical to curbing the devastating effects of unchecked climate change. China's success will result in more pressure on other nations, especially on the United States, to meet its own climate change reversal goals. It can also result in the creation of more ambitious goals. Last month, two British scientists published a study on the Climate Policy journal that indicated China's falling carbon emissions levels after its rapid increase since 2001. "It is quite possible that emissions will fall modestly from now on, implying that 2014 was the peak," wrote researchers Fergus Greena and Nicholas Sterna. They indicated the potential drop in the use of industrial coal burning, which is the main source of carbon emissions in China. The country has also released several new policies that reduced the coal use to solve another problem — air pollution. This resulted in the use of substitute energy sources such as nuclear power and hydropower. These new policies may be enabling China — the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases — to reach its reduction target earlier. This fall, the new set of data can reveal that China's greenhouse gas emission dropped from 1 to 1.5 percent in 2015.
News Article | March 16, 2016
The UK Committee on Climate Change has concluded that Scotland should maintain its high ambition toward reduction of greenhouse gases moving forward. In a new report published this week by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), Scottish emissions targets 2028-2032, the authors concluded that the Scottish Government should attempt to maintain its high ambition pathway towards greenhouse gas emissions reductions of at least 80% by 2050 to stay on track to reduce emissions by 61% by 2030 over 1990 levels. This would go beyond the UK ambition for that period. It is achievable and in line with the Act and the global shift towards higher ambition implied by the Paris Agreement. The authors of the report note that “Scotland has more ambitious climate targets than the UK as a whole” — as has been quite clearly seen over the past two years, in which Scotland has distanced itself both in language and action from Greater Britain’s woefully inadequate policy shifts and reworkings. The recommendations made in the report “reflect the requirement in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act for targets from 2020 to fall by at least 3% each year,” and differ by 4% from the recommendations made in the UK’s fifth carbon budget. The Committee also recommended that Scotland revise its targets for 2017-2027 to better reflect the latest scientific evidence, and to align them with new accounting rules for the European Unions Emissions Trading System. And though, as the authors note, “these are stretching targets,” Scotland’s past progress puts the country in good stead to achieve these recommendations. In 2013, emissions in Scotland had fallen by 38% from 1990 levels, and the country is currently on track to exceed the target 42% reduction from 1990 levels by 2020. Nevertheless, Scotland will have to stretch to push beyond expectation, and require strong action, such as the following points laid out by the CCC: “Scotland is leading the UK in its ambitious approach to tackling climate change and is to be commended for doing so,” said Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change. “There is a lot of positive action already underway in Scotland, driven by both its vibrant renewable sector and its bold policy approaches. This must now be accelerated. New policies will be required to meet these ambitious but achievable carbon objectives. With these actions Scotland can continue as an example to the rest of the UK in its approach to address climate change.” “We welcome the UK Climate Change Committee’s clear advice that Scotland must reduce its carbon emissions by 61% by 2030,” said Jim Densham, from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, who commented on the news. “However, the Committee’s report spells out that if we are to hit these new targets we will need to see strong action and new policies from the Scottish Government.” Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | November 26, 2015
The UK’s Committee on Climate Change said Thursday that the country should target an emissions reduction of 57% by 2028-2032. With the UN climate negotiations in Paris merely days away, climate and environmental bodies around the world are publishing recommendations for countries and the globe in an attempt to make as big a splash as possible, and to impact their target audience at the right time. The UK’s Committee on Climate Change has joined this chorus of advocacy, calling on the UK government to continue on its path towards reducing emissions by at least 80% by 2050 on 1990 levels, by committing to an emissions reduction target of 57% by 2028-2032. The Committee published The fifth carbon budget — The next step towards a low-carbon economy this week, the halfway mark from the first carbon budget period (2008-2012) to 2050. Many countries are focusing tightly on creating climate goals that will play into the globally agreed action to limit warming to 2°C. On Monday, the International Renewable Energy Agency released their newest report, REthinking Energy 2015, which called for an accelerated transition to renewable energy in an effort to help limit global warming. The UK has done its part so far — reducing emissions by 36% on 1990 levels, and on track to lower them by 43%-46% by 2020, with the fourth carbon budget (2023-2027) set to see emissions continue to fall to 52% on 1990 levels. This fifth carbon budget is therefore simply an extension of that trend, and would be the equivalent of emissions reductions of 2% per year from 1990-2014, 3% per year from 2014-2030, and 4% per year from 2030-2050. However, according to the Committee on Climate Change, if these targets are to be met to keep the country on track to 2050, a number of new policies and “clear long-term signals to investors” are “urgently required.” Specifically, the Committee presented four targets that must be met in order for the fifth carbon budget to be reached: “The UK has been at the forefront of global action on climate change,” stated Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change. “As a nation, we have begun the transition towards a low-carbon economy. By legislating the fifth carbon budget at the recommended level, the Government will take the next important step. That will build on its commitment to the UK’s existing climate targets and send a clear signal to businesses and consumers that UK climate ambition remains on track through the 2020s and into the 2030s.” “This medium-term vision, balancing a range of considerations, helps to ensure the UK can continue to play its part at lowest cost to business and consumers while properly positioning our country for the environmental and economic realities that lie ahead.” Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.