Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Report on Global Emissions Reduction

A report titled "The Critical Decade: Global Action Building on Climate Change," presents an overview of progress in international action on climate change since August 2012, The report concludes that global momentum to tackle climate change is growing with every major economy setting in place policies to drive down emissions and increase renewable energy investment and renewable energy.

Although there has been significant progress (particularly from the US and China) global emissions keep rising. While coal plants in the US are on the decline, they are on the increase in the developing world. Even China is substantially slowing its building of new coal power plants while radically increasing their dependence on renewable energy.

Here are some of the key findings in the report:

  • Ninety-eight countries have committed to limit their greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Global renewable energy capacity is growing quickly; in 2012 alone capacity rose 15 percent. The capacity of solar photovoltaic panels increased by 42% and wind capacity 21%. 
  • Total global renewable energy power generation is expected to increase by more than 40% from 2011 to 2017
  • Policy support has been central to driving investment and growth in installed renewable energy capacity in many countries. 
  • Conversely, declining support, or policy uncertainty, has stifled investment in other countries. 
  • The global pressure to reduce emissions is only likely to increase as the climate shifts and global action accelerates. 

The next decade is crucial if we are to take advantage of the rapidly closing window to act on climate change causing emissions. While significant progress is being made, global emissions continue to rise. Significantly more needs to be done if we are to reduce emissions and have a chance at keeping global temperatures within acceptable limits of 2 degrees Celsius. We must act now to set the foundations to reduce emissions rapidly to nearly zero by 2050. The longer we wait to take action the greater the cost and disruption. If we wait too long we may succumb to tipping points beyond which there can be no recovery.

To download the full report click here.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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