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1 Dealing with Climate Change Dr Jan Wright Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Dealing with Climate Change Dr Jan Wright Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Dealing with Climate Change Dr Jan Wright Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

2 2 Outline 1.Climate change science and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2.Dealing with climate change 3.Putting a price on carbon 4.Believing in climate change

3 3 greenhouse gases trap heat

4 4 CO 2 concentration temperature Greenhouse Earth in Action

5 5

6 6 How do we know whats happening? The IPCC assesses the science The 2007 IPCC report 2,500 + scientific expert reviewers 800+ contributing authors 450+ lead authors from 130+ different countries 6 years of work 4 volumes

7 7 ………and the IPCC says: Warming of the climate system is unequivocal

8 8 nature nature + humans what happened

9 9 Difference in surface temperature 1951 - 1980 versus 2000 – 2007. Climate change varies across the planet

10 10 Thames barrierGrizzly-Polar bear cross

11 11

12 12 This is serious! With more than 2 o warming, there is significant risk of irreversible catastrophe Need to limit greenhouse gas concentrations to 450 ppm to limit warming to 2 o But currently on track to exceed this considerably

13 13 Responding to Climate Change Adaptation coping with the impacts of climate change Mitigation reducing the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere Research understanding the problem and solutions

14 14 Adaptation Acute Chronic

15 15 Mitigation International Agreements – targets and binding commitments Reduce greenhouse gas emissions Remove carbon from the atmosphere (sequestration)

16 16 Mitigation is hard Tragedy of the Commons Problem is global and intergenerational Collective action – I will if you will

17 17 Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Voluntary change Regulation Economic instrument

18 18 Why put a price on carbon? Greenhouse gas emissions are associated with all goods and services Working out the emissions for everything is impossibly complicated Carbon price lets the economy do the calculations for us

19 19 The political challenge of pricing carbon emissions Hard enough raising an existing tax let alone putting a price on something that has been free Invisible, silent, tasteless, odourless, and intangible

20 20 Two ways of pricing carbon Carbon tax – fix P, Q emerges Cap and trade – fix Q, P emerges Reality - hybrids P Q

21 21 very different to Different challenges Both bringing in emissions trading schemes New ZealandAustralia

22 22 Whats happened in NZ Labour Government: - Emissions Trading Scheme in 2008 includes all sectors, all gases National Government: –Review of ETS by Select Committee –ETS Amendment Bill

23 23 Whats happened in Australia Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Rejected by the Senate August 2009, probably back to the Senate soon. Not all sectors, all gases - excludes agriculture and deforestation

24 24 Believing in climate change >40% in UK and >50% in USA refuse to accept our emissions are changing the climate How do we generate a shared belief in the reality of climate change?

25 25 Questions?

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