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Emissions Gap Report 2020: Where we are & where we should be to avoid catastrophe


Highlights

  • The United Nations Environment Programme has released their Emissions Gap Report for 2020, highlighting where greenhouse gas predictions for 2030 are and how the world can avoid climate disaster
  • Currently, the world is headed for temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century and 2020 has likely to be the warmest year on record
  • Around 126 countries covering 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions had adopted, announced or were considering net-zero goals at the time this report was written, signifying that various countries are attempting to do their part to reduce emissions
  • Governments must go greener in the next stage of COVID-19 fiscal interventions to kick-start faster action on climate change

Scientists are increasingly warning that to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, the world’s governments must implement policies for massive greenhouse gas emissions reductions and begin a drawdown of carbon from the atmosphere within ten years. With 9 of 15 global tipping points now active, what we do today can either unleash an inhospitable hothouse Earth or secure a safe climate well into the future. For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.


Read the Full Report: https://www.unep.org/interactive/emissions-gap-report/2020/

The worst-case scenario for global warming tracks closely with actual emissions


Highlights

  • The worst-case climate scenarios that feature the highest greenhouse gas emissions projections are the best ones to strategically plan for as they capture both future and historical emissions
  • Though the use of coal is dwindling, cumulative concentrations of greenhouse gases that were emitted in the past play a huge role in future warming projections
  • Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) are scenarios that show how much warmer the world will become by 2100
    • The Paris Agreement would be an RCP of 2.6, leading the world to 3.6 Degrees Fahrenheit. Effects of this RCP allow only 10% of coral reefs to survive
    • The worst-case scenario, RCP 8.5, would lead to an 8 Degree F increase, causing a 3-foot increase in sea level rise

Scientists are increasingly warning that to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, the world’s governments must implement massive reductions of warming emissions and begin a drawdown of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the atmosphere over the decade ahead.  For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.


Read More: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/03082020/climate-change-scenarios-emissions

‘We essentially cook ourselves’ if we don’t fix air conditioning, major UN report warns

by Dharna Noor, Gizmodo


Highlights

  • A new report from the United Nations shows that 460 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions could be avoided worldwide by switching to energy-efficient, climate-safe air conditioning
  • There are 3.6 billion cooling appliances, including refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioning units in use around the globe
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), chemicals that were once used in air conditioning units, among other products, were banned after the Montreal Protocol. However, their replacement, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are also negatively impacting the climate as they are 11,700 times more warming than carbon dioxide
    • In 2019 governments adopted the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol in order to phase out HFCs
    • Doing so could avoid as much as 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit of warming if adopted globally
    • However, major emitters such as the US and India are two of the 90 countries that have not signed on
  • Doubling the energy efficiency of air conditioners could save up to $2.9 trillion by 2050
  • Promoting the construction of energy-efficient housing with alternative cooling options like green roofs will reduce the world’s need for air conditioning

Fossil fuel divestment and the transition to 100% clean energy is critical to achieving The Climate Center’s goals under the Climate-Safe California Platform.


Read More: https://earther.gizmodo.com/we-essentially-cook-ourselves-if-we-don-t-fix-air-con-1844416667

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Went Down in 2014

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The Climate Center just released its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Report for Sonoma County for 2014. The report calculates GHG emissions from major sectors to reveal trends that demonstrate progress toward the County’s goals.

The report shows us that in 2014, Sonoma County produced about 3.6 million tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is a decrease of about 14% from 2007, when county emissions reached a high of about 4.2 million tons.

“It’s too soon to tell if this is a trend we can count on, but we believe that we’re bringing emissions down in a real and hopefully accelerating way,” said Ann Hancock, Executive Director of The Climate Center. The Center has been tracking the county’s greenhouse gas emissions since 2003.

The launch of Sonoma Clean Power in 2014 brings reasons for hope. Sonoma Clean Power customers receive greener electricity, which promises to play a critical role going forward.

Mark Landman, Chair of Sonoma Clean Power Authority and Cotati City Councilmember reported, “In our first year of operation, Sonoma Clean Power’s electricity reduced greenhouse gas emissions 48% compared with PG&E’s power mix last published data from 2013. At the same time, our customers saved a total of $13.6 million on their bills.”

The Sonoma County Water Agency, one of the largest energy users in the county, achieved its goal of operating a carbon-free water system, procuring 100% of its electricity needs through renewable sources, thanks in part to Sonoma Clean Power. 

Transportation, however, is by far the county’s largest culprit of carbon production, accounting for about 65% of Sonoma County’s total emissions. 

But there’s hope here, too. According to The Climate Center’s soon-to-be-released draft report on electric vehicles, Sonoma County can significantly reduce transportation emissions by shifting from gas and diesel-powered vehicles to those powered by electricity. 

“Expanding low carbon and zero emission travel is one of our top priorities,” said Suzanne Wilford Smith, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Transportation Authority. “We aim to do this by reimagining public transportation, incentivizing EVs, looking at new policies like user-based road use fees, launching SMART, and implementing a car share program.” 

Although Sonoma County is a climate protection leader, this report shows that there’s a long way to go. 

Sonoma County is aiming for a 2015 target of reducing emissions 25% below 1990 levels, equal to about 2.6 million tons ofcarbon dioxide,by 2015. In 2005, Sonoma County and all nine of its cities pledged by resolution to achieve this goal, which corresponds to what is known scientifically as atmospheric carbon stabilization, the imperative for a life-sustaining climate. 

“Although we won’t meet our extremely ambitious 2015 target, we’re moving in the right direction,” said Hancock. “We have to work a lot harder to move a lot faster.” 

To meet the goal, emission reduction measures must overcome powerful forces, particularly increases in population and an economy largely based on fossil fuels.

Reducing GHGs is much more than an environmental agenda. It is about public health, energy security, economic vitality, and ultimately, human survival. In the words of Pope Francis, “we have a moral imperative” to promote climate action, and it will require a “bold cultural revolution” to get us on the right track.

Sonoma County is proving to the world that reducing GHGs and promoting decarbonization also makes long-term economic sense.

“We build capital to help move positive change,” said Jason Simon, Director Policy Strategy at Enphase Energy. “Not only are we expanding access to renewable energy, but we are making strategic choices at all levels to update the energy system so that it’s cleaner and more resilient. We want to ensure our own business success, other green innovators’ success, and a healthier planet.”

“Ultimately, social change happens through our conversation. The more we talk about this imperative, the solutions, and each of our roles in correcting this crisis, the faster we create the context for change and create a positive future for our children and all life,” said Hancock.