Climate change: scenarios, impacts and responses

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(storyline: Global situation, or path is aiming for 3.8, we want to be below 2 and possible aiming for 1.5 and what is needed; Europe situation and per capita budget and individual responsibility, then link it to go it in community. Mention also the other levels where some action is being done: Municipalities and companies/business?)

Global Context

  • (very brief, all directly relevant to task of putting page in context)

According to the pledges done in Paris and present momentum, the world is on a path for a 3.8ºC above global mean temperatures by the end of the century. This is way more than the 1.5ºC (and maximum 2ºC) that all countries agreed in COP21 in 2015. To stay below the 2ºC, with 66% chances, we cannot emit more than nearly 1000 Giga Tons of CO2 equivalent (including other GHG) to the atmosphere [1], that means we cannot explore more than 30% of the known reserves worldwide. To keep it within the 1.5ºC the percentage of success drops to 15%. The carbon budget for each person in the world is very different, ranging form 21.2 tons of CO2eq/person/year in the USA while in Somália this value is around 0.1 tons of CO2eq/person/year. The world average near 4.2 tons of CO2eq/person/year. So, for us to have a 66% chance of staying below the 2ºC target we have an average yearly person budget of around 1.6 tons of CO2eq. [2] Just for clarity, that is nearly the carbon each passenger emits when flying from London to San Francisco, one way in economy class.

Reducing carbon emissions is being addressed from the international to the local level. The United Nations launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with one specific on Climate Change Action (SDG13) as well as publishes the state of the art of climate change science through the periodic reports produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The European Union has committed to a 40% and 80% reduction by 2030 and 2050, respectively, relative to 1990 levels [3]. A rate of carbon reduction of nearly 5% a year is fundamental for Europe to walk the talk and support the path "below 2ºC" [4]. Being responsible for approximately 11% of global carbon emissions (Oliver et al., 2013, page 4), the European Union (EU) already managed to increase its GDP by 47% between the period 1990-2014 while declining its CO2 emissions by 24% in the same period [5]. The Global Reporting Initiative, the UN Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has been anchoring Sustainability in major multinational companies and recently integrating the SDGs into their strategic thinking and reporting [6], [7]. Voluntarily committed to implement EU climate and energy objectives on their territory, the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy brings together more than 7,000 local and regional authorities, representing more than 220 million inhabitants. A 2015 consultation showed that signatory cities pledge action to support implementation of the EU greenhouse gas emission targets and the adoption of a joint approach to tackling mitigation and adaptation to climate change [8].

Although from an international perspective, municipalities and big cities tend to be mentioned and acknowledged as the local level scale, as in a fractal, we can and need to go a bit further down. Within this local level we can move down to parishes, neighbourhoods and other local communities, that can be bound by inhabiting the same building or share a plot in the community or urban garden. People around the word are known to change behaviour and practices to reduce their impact on the environment and start engaging in activities and lifestyles that are regenerative of the ecological and social systems. Nevertheless, individuals actions are fundamental but usually are ineffective when pushing for other levels of structured or paradigm shifts. Community-Led Initiatives are paving that way.

(text moved from CLIs and emissions reduction page: Reducing carbon emissions is being addressed from the international to the local level. The United Nations launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with one specific on Climate Change Action (SDG13) as well as publishes the state of the art of climate change science through the periodic reports produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The European Union has committed to a 40% and 80% reduction by 2030 and 2050, respectively, relative to 1990 levels [9]. The Global Reporting Initiative, the UN Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has been anchoring Sustainability in major multinational companies and recently integrating the SDGs into their strategic thinking and reporting [10], [11]. The Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy brings together more than 7,000 local and regional authorities, representing more than 220 million inhabitants, and is pushing for more ambitious climate actions goals at the local level [12]. A 2014 global assessment, a review study, by Kevin Lo [13] on urban governance and transition towards low carbon living showed that local actors are more proactive on experimenting with the new policy responses. Municipal governments play a significant role on shaping the local carbon footprint as service providers, regulators, planners, developers and landlords. Not only they have direct control emissions from government facilities and operations (although this accounts for a small proportion of total emissions) as they can enable the local community by provision of financial, technical and educational support to local actors to engage meaningfully on local climate action. Also, Lo considers that local governments can also favour a low carbon pathways by governing by provision when enable particular forms of service or resource, shaping the local practice (for example by promoting public bicycle programs). Municipalities can also govern by authority and strongly constrain certain services or uses such as forbidding cars or decrease their numbers in certain places of the city.[13]

"...the emergence of transnational and regional municipal networks as a major player in urban carbon governance has captured the attention of many researchers. Examples of influential municipal climate networks include the Cities for Climate Protection program, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Energie-Cities, Eurocities and Climate Alliance. From the governance perspective, these networks engage in both external governance activities, such as lobbying national and supranational actors and collaborating with other networks, and internal governance activities, such as building capacity, showcasing initiatives and facilitating the transfer of knowledge."[13]

Lo[13] also highlight that "local governments are increasingly dependent on other local stakeholders to establish legitimacy and overcome political obstacles" and by establishing constructive partnerships can "help local authorities meet technical and financial challenges through fundraising, community engagement and the polling of collective knowledge, human capital, institutional authority and organizational capacity".

Add here the latest articles [14] ; [15]

  • Global vision and strategies to stay below 2ºC and hopefully at 1.5ºC max. To stay below that with more than 50% probability we cannot explore more than 80% of all gas, oil and coal known reservoirs.
  • The global CO2 emissions intentions to 2050 will lead us to around 3.8ºC by the end of the century with direct and indirect consequences (create a page on this, or link somewhere)

Fossil-fuel-reserves-and-the-carbon-budget.png

Developed-fossil-fuel-reserves-and-the-carbon-budget.png

(source [16]

In Europe: "40‐70% of the electricity energy needs to constitute of zero‐carbon energy by 2050." [17] "Energy efficiency has the largest potential for reducing emissions in the buildings domain" [17] "The IMAGE model shows a reduction in EU emissions of about 10% by 2030 to about 40% by 2050 compared to 2010. The" [17] "The transport domain is the fastest growing source of emissions" [17]

Add carbon contribution EU/country/person:

http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/17/files/GCP_CarbonBudget_2017.pdf

Carbon emissions per countries - EU - per capita 2016.png

Exporters and Imprters of Fossil Fuel.png

  • Many sectorial and governments at different scales are tackling this challenge. Examples: Covenant of Mayors; World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD); ...
  • So are the CLI (Low carbon individual and communitarian lifestyles).

Others Gil Penha-Lopes texts not published

"The recently approved 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the SDG 13 that focuses specifically on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the unanimously adopted COP21 Agreement that came into force in November 2016, energizes those concerned about climate change and its impacts, including policy makers, practitioners, climate scientists and citizens. These global policy agreements provide the framework to promote strong climate action worldwide. Being responsible for approximately 11% of global carbon emissions (Olivier et al., 2013), the European Union (EU) increased its Gross Domestic Product by 47% between the period 1990-2014 while declining its CO2 emissions by 24% in the same period (European Environment Agency, 2016a). In the way towards a low-carbon economy, the EU committed itself to attain cross-sectoral binding targets of at least 40% and 80% domestic reductions in emissions by 2030 and 2050, respectively, compared to 1990 (European Commission, 2011; 2013a)."

"Voluntarily committed to implement EU climate and energy objectives on their territory, the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy brings together more than 7,000 local and regional authorities, representing more than 220 million inhabitants. A 2015 consultation showed that signatory cities pledge action to support implementation of the EU greenhouse gas emission targets and the adoption of a joint approach to tackling mitigation and adaptation to climate change (http://www.covenantofmayors.eu/IMG/pdf/CoM_Survey_Key_Findings.pdf). By the end of 2016, 746 local authorities being part of the Mayors Adapt initiative, recently integrated in the Covenant of Mayors had committed to take action on adaptation on their own territories. They reported that too many uncoordinated initiatives at the EU level as well as knowledge gaps, such as downscaling and interpreting impacts at a local scale, difficulties with securing funding for adaptation and with developing, selecting and applying an appropriate monitoring system hinder their actions (European Environment Agency, 2016b). "

References

  1. Friedlingstein, P., Andrew, R.M., Rogelj, J., Peters, G.P., Canadell, J.G., Knutti, R., Luderer, G., Raupach, M.R., Schaeffer, M., van Vuuren, D.P., Le Quéré, C., 2014. Persistent growth of CO2 emissions and implications for reaching climate targets. Nat. Geosci. 7, 709–715. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2248
  2. O’Neill, D.W., Fanning, A.L., Lamb, W.F., Steinberger, J.K., 2018. A good life for all within planetary boundaries. Nat. Sustain. 1, 88–95. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-018-0021-4
  3. European Commission (2011) A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. COM/2011/0112 final
  4. Raupach, M.R., Davis, S.J., Peters, G.P., Andrew, R.M., Canadell, J.G., Ciais, P., Friedlingstein, P., Jotzo, F., van Vuuren, D.P., Le Quéré, C., 2014. Sharing a quota on cumulative carbon emissions. Nat. Clim. Change 4, 873–879. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2384
  5. European Environment Agency (2016) - Annual European Union greenhouse gas inventory 1990–2014 and inventory report 2016 - Submission to the UNFCCC Secretariat. EEA Report No 15/2016. Publication Office of the European Union. http://dx.doi.org/10.2800/1360
  6. https://www.globalreporting.org/information/SDGs/Pages/Reporting-on-the-SDGs.aspx
  7. https://sdgcompass.org
  8. http://www.covenantofmayors.eu/IMG/pdf/CoM_Survey_Key_Findings.pdf, accessed on May 20th 2018
  9. European Commission (2011) A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. COM/2011/0112 final
  10. https://www.globalreporting.org/information/SDGs/Pages/Reporting-on-the-SDGs.aspx
  11. https://sdgcompass.org
  12. http://www.covenantofmayors.eu/IMG/pdf/CoM_Survey_Key_Findings.pdf, accessed on May 20th 2018
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Lo, Kevin. “Urban Carbon Governance and the Transition toward Low-Carbon Urbanism: Review of a Global Phenomenon.” Carbon Management 5, no. 3 (May 4, 2014): 269–83. https://doi.org/10.1080/17583004.2014.981384.
  14. Gignac, R., Matthews, H.D., 2015. Allocating a 2 °C cumulative carbon budget to countries. Environ. Res. Lett. 10, 075004. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/10/7/075004
  15. Friedlingstein, P., Andrew, R.M., Rogelj, J., Peters, G.P., Canadell, J.G., Knutti, R., Luderer, G., Raupach, M.R., Schaeffer, M., van Vuuren, D.P., Le Quéré, C., 2014. Persistent growth of CO2 emissions and implications for reaching climate targets. Nat. Geosci. 7, 709–715. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2248
  16. http://climatepositions.com/study-already-developed-fossil-fuel-reserves-will-potentially-take-us-beyond-the-2-degree-warming-limit/
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Pathways, D1_1_Preliminary Scenarios_31July_final.pdf