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Kevin Anderson Research director Tyndall Centre University of Manchester November 2008 Reframing Climate Change: Based on research by Kevin Anderson &

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Presentation on theme: "Kevin Anderson Research director Tyndall Centre University of Manchester November 2008 Reframing Climate Change: Based on research by Kevin Anderson &"— Presentation transcript:

1 Kevin Anderson Research director Tyndall Centre University of Manchester November 2008 Reframing Climate Change: Based on research by Kevin Anderson & Alice Bows Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering How recent emission trends & the latest science change the debate

2 Talk outline 1) What is dangerous climate change? 2) Reframing the debate - cumulative emissions 3) Global greenhouse gas emission pathways 4) UK greenhouse gas emission pathways

3 What is dangerous climate change?  UK & EU define this as 2  C

4 What are the ‘correct’ emission-reduction targets for 2  C ?  UK, EU & Global - long term reduction targets - UK’s 60% reduction in CO 2 by EU 60%-80% reduction in CO 2 e by Bali 50% global reduction in CO 2 e by 2050  But CO 2 stays in atmosphere for 100+ years  Hence, today’s emissions add to yesterdays & will be added to by tomorrows  So, focus on long-term targets is very misleading

5 the final % reduction in carbon has little relevance to avoiding dangerous climate change (e.g. 2  C) Put bluntly … What is important are the cumulative emissions of carbon & other greenhouse gases (i.e. the carbon budget)

6 How do global temperatures link to global and national carbon budgets & from there to emission-reduction pathways?

7 Temperature threshold GHG concentration Global cumulative emission budget National cumulative emission budget Apportionment regime science/modelling Global emission pathway National emission pathway emissions + short-term projections

8 Illustrative pathway for a CO 2 e budget

9 available carbon budget Annual CO 2 e emissions

10 available carbon budget Annual CO 2 e emissions Illustrative pathway for a CO 2 e budget Plot recent emissions

11 available carbon budget Annual CO 2 e emissions Illustrative pathway for a CO 2 e budget Emissions already released

12 available carbon budget Annual CO 2 e emissions Illustrative pathway for a CO 2 e budget Emissions already released We can project: - Short-term emissions to peak year/s We know: - Cumulative emissions for 2°C

13 available carbon budget Annual CO 2 e emissions Illustrative pathway for a CO 2 e budget Emissions already released Hence can draw emission pathways

14 carbon budget range Annual CO 2 e emissions Illustrative pathway for a CO 2 e budget Emissions already released

15 How does this ‘scientifically-credible’ way of thinking alter the challenge we face at: 1) the global level 2) the UK level

16 the global level

17  What are the latest CO 2 emission trends?  What are implications of factoring in: - land-use & forestry? - non-CO 2 greenhouse gas emissions?  When will global CO 2 e emissions peak? Tyndall’s ‘global emission scenarios (CO 2 e)’

18 ~ 2.7% p.a. last 100yrs ~ 3.3% p.a. in last 5 years What are the latest global CO 2 emission trends?

19 What are the latest global CO 2 e emission trends? ~ 2.8% p.a. since 2000 ~ Stern assumed 0.96%

20 Trajectory of Global Fossil Fuel Emissions Raupach et al. 2007, PNAS SRES (2000) growth rates in % y -1 for : A1B: 2.42 A1FI: 2.71 A1T: 1.63 A2: 2.13 B1: 1.79 B2: 1.61 Observed %

21 Emissions of CO 2 from land-use change -Characterised by high uncertainty (principally driven by deforestation) -Represents 12%-25% of total global greenhouse gas emissions in Two Tyndall scenarios with different carbon-stock levels remaining: 70% & 80% -Optimistic compared with Forest Resource Assessment

22 Emissions of non-CO 2 greenhouse gases -Short-term EPA estimates -Characterised by considerable tail due to emissions associated with food production -Represents ~20-23% of total global greenhouse gas emissions in Three scenarios with different peak dates

23 Bush - USA-2025 Stern – Global aim-2015 Tyndall-2015, 2020, 2025 Suggested CO 2 e emissions peak?

24 2°C greenhouse gas emission pathways (450ppmv CO 2 e)

25 For 2°C, emissions between (the carbon budget) are estimated to be ~ 1400 to 2200 GtCO 2 e

26 Total greenhouse gas emission pathways 2015 peak 2020 peak2025 peak (Anderson & Bows Philosophical Transactions A of the Royal Society pp )

27 What does all this imply for a 450ppmvCO 2 e future? Unprecedented annual reductions (~10% pa globally, even for 2020 peak)

28 3°C & 4°C greenhouse gas emission pathways (550 & 650 ppmv CO 2 e)

29 For 3°C (550ppmv CO 2 e) with emissions peaking by 2020:  6% annual reductions in CO 2 e  9% annual reductions in CO 2 from energy For 4°C (650ppmv CO 2 e) with emissions peaking by 2020:  3% annual reductions in CO 2 e  3.5% annual reductions in CO 2 from energy

30 Annual reductions of greater than 1% p.a. have only “been associated with economic recession or upheaval” Stern 2006  UK gas & French 40x nuclear ~1% p.a. reductions (ex. aviation & shipping)  Collapse Soviet Union economy ~5% p.a. reductions What are the precedents for such reductions?

31 Even assuming: … an unprecedented step change in mitigating emissions … stabilising at 650ppmv CO 2 e appears increasingly to be the best we can expect i.e. human-induced climate change of ~4°C or more So where does this leave us?

32 We need to urgently reframe the climate change debate:  For mitigation 2°C should remain the driver of policy  For adaptation 4°C should become the driver of policy Consequently …

33 the UK level (older work based on CO 2 only - to be updated)

34 ~ GtCO 2 between the UK’s budget is For a reasonable chance of 2°C to 3°C

35 1.What are the emissions between 2000 & today? 2.What emissions are we locked into in the immediate future? From this two questions arise

36 … emissions between were ~ 4.5 billion tonnes of CO 2 … i.e. we’ve used ~¼ of our permitted emissions for 50 years in around 6 years Answer 1

37 Looking at this graphically … Answer 2

38 Carbon pathway

39 Plot data from 2000 to 2006 Carbon pathway Dip due to September 11th

40 What about the next 6 years … with more aviation and shipping Carbon pathway

41 This gives a notable rise in emissions between now & 2012 Carbon pathway

42 But UK can emit only 17 to 23 GtCO 2 locking nation into unprecedented annual CO 2 reductions for ~2 decades, beginning % p.a. 9% p.a.

43 6% p.a. 9% p.a. … and this equates, at best, to only a 50:50 chance of staying below 2°C

44 What does the pathway approach say about UK emission policies ?

45 Most emissions over the next 15 years Policy implications

46 demand supply & demand Policy implications

47 Does the demand-side have what’s needed?

48 Fuel Production, Extraction &Transport Powerstation Transmission Electricity Consumption Light the example of domestic lighting

49 … ultimately.. “at every level the greatest obstacle to transforming the world is that we lack the clarity and imagination to conceive that it could be different.” Roberto Unger

50 1-person living in 3 bedroom housespatio heaters10 halogen bulbs lighting the kitchen3 tonne 4WD car to transport 70kg flesh 3milesdriving children to school business tycoons with private jets academics flying to climate change conferencesmusicians flying to climate change concerts celebrating the excesses of celebrities ‘right’ to fly & drive when & to wherever we want year-round strawberries hen parties in Prague & birthdays in Barcelona double door refrigerators & home cinema second homes, 2 cars & 3 TVs & all with 9 billion people living on our planet!

51 End Reframing Climate Change: Kevin Anderson & Alice Bows Tyndall Centre University of Manchester How recent emission trends & the latest science change the debate


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