CO2 emissions up 2.7pc this 2018, say scientists
‘Paris accord goal in jeopardy’
PARIS, Dec 6, (Agencies): Global emissions of carbon dioxide mainly from fossil fuel burning will rise 2.7 percent in 2018, scientists said Wednesday, signalling a world “completely off course” in the fight against climate change.
Last year, CO2 pollution increased by 1.6 percent after a three-year hiatus that raised hopes man-made greenhouse gas emissions had finally peaked despite an expanding world economy.
“This growth in global CO2 emissions puts the goals set out in the Paris Agreement in jeopardy,” lead author director of the Tyndall Centre of Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, said in a statement.
“It is not enough to support renewables,” she added. “Efforts to decarbonise need to be expanded throughout the economy.”
The findings, co-authored by a team of nearly 80 scientists, were published in the journal Open Access Earth System Science Data.
Rapid deployment of solar and wind power, along with gains in energy efficiency, have been outpaced by growth in demand for freight, personal transport, shipping, and aviation, the research showed.
The 2015 Paris climate treaty calls for capping global warming at “well below” 2ºC (3.6ºF), a goal that scientists say could soon slip out of our grasp if planet-warming continues to climb.
Even a 2ºC ceiling above pre-industrial levels may not be enough to avoid catastrophic impacts, the UN’s climate science panel concluded in a landmark report in October.
A single degree of warming to date has seen a rise in deadly heatwaves, droughts, floods, and superstorms made worse by rising seas.
“Emissions will continue to rise, rhetoric is increasing but ambition is not – we are completely off course,” said co-author Glen Peters, research director at the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo.
“While there has been positive progress on clean energy and electric vehicles, this is currently too small to impact the onward march of fossil fuels.”
NZ military braces for climate battle:
The New Zealand Defense Force identified climate change as one of its biggest security challenges Thursday, warning that responding to global warming will increasingly stretch its resources.
The NZDF said the impact of climate change in the neighbouring Pacific islands promised to be so extreme that providing humanitarian assistance could limit its ability to perform its traditional defense roles.
“With the intensifying impacts of climate change... New Zealand may be faced with concurrent operational commitments, which could stretch resources and reduce readiness for other requirements,” it said in a report examining climate’s impact on the military.
The NZDF has already played a major part in helping Pacific island nations such as Vanuatu and Fiji following devastating cyclones blamed on man-made global warming.
The report said problems in the Pacific would only worsen, bringing the potential for food and water shortages, land disputes arising from climate migration and more violent storm disasters.
“When the effects of climate change intersect with a complex array of environmental and social issues, they can be a significant contributor to both low-level and more violent conflict,” it said.
“The security implications of climate change are further magnified in areas dealing with weak governance or corruption.”
Climate Change Minister James Shaw said the military’s role was changing.
BC plans shift to clean energy:
The Western Canadian province of British Columbia on Wednesday outlined the first measures it will take to cut carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030, including shifting homes and vehicles to clean or renewable energy.
The province would still support its nascent liquefied natural gas industry, with the 68-page CleanBC plan calling for LNG firms to use the “greenest technology available.”
Some 75 percent of British Columbia’s planned emission cuts would be achieved by shifting homes, vehicles and industry off fossil fuels and onto clean or renewable energy, boosting energy efficiency, and by attracting low-carbon investment.
British Columbia wants to cut carbon emissions to 38.2 million tonnes by 2030, down 40 percent from 2007 levels, then dropping to 12.7 million tonnes by 2050.
One large LNG export terminal in the northern town of Kitimat is expected to add some 3.45 million tonnes of carbon to the province’s total emissions once operations begin in the mid-2020s. A second smaller LNG plant north of Vancouver is expected to start construction in the first quarter of 2019, with operations in 2023.
“We want to make sure British Columbia is a destination for investment and industry that wants to come here and wants to lead the world with new technologies,” Premier John Horgan told reporters. “That includes our traditional foundational industries like mining, forestry and natural gas.”
British Columbia last month said it would phase out the sale of new non-electric vehicles in the province by 2040, a bold measure aimed at getting carbon emitting cars and light-duty trucks off the road.
In addition, the province said it would speed up the transition to cleaner fuels at the pump, including hydrogen and LNG for use in transport. It said all new homes and buildings must be low-carbon by 2032 and said it will ramp up funding for retrofits of older buildings.