Professor Kevin Anderson | Real Clothes for the Emperor: facing the challenges of climate change

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Kevin Anderson, Tyndall Centre, 2012

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  • Professor Kevin Anderson | Real Clothes for the Emperor: facing the challenges of climate change

    1. 1. Real Clothes for the Emperor:facing the challenges of climate change Kevin Anderson Tyndall Centre University of Manchester 2012
    2. 2. ContextThe international energy agency‟s (IEA) view on climate change  “When I look at this [CO2] data, the trend is perfectly in line with a temperature increase of 6 degrees Celsius, which would have devastating consequences for the planet.”  “we have 5 years to change the energy system – or have it changed” Fatih Birol - IEA chief economist Similar concerns are forthcoming from government chief scientists and the recent PwC report
    3. 3. Climate change commitments International ‘To hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius and take action .. consistent with science and on the basis of equity‟ EU „must ensure global average temperature increases do not exceed preindustrial levels by more than 2°C‟ UK “average global temperatures must rise no more than 2°C”
    4. 4. How consistent are 2°C & 4°C futures with emission trends and climate science?
    5. 5. Global emission of fossil fuel CO2 (inc. cement) 90.0 80.0 70.0 60.0Billion tonnes CO2 50.0 40.0 30.0 20.0 10.0 0.0 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 Year
    6. 6. Billion tonnes CO2 70.0 0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 80.0 90.0 1980 IPCC established First report 1990 RIO Earth Summit Second report RCEP report (60% by 2050) 2000 Third report most dangerous threat Fourth report Copenhagen 2010 Rio + 20Year 2020 2030 2040 Global emission of fossil fuel CO2 (inc. cement) 2050
    7. 7. Global emission of fossil fuel CO2 (inc. cement) 90.0 Rio + 20 80.0 70.0 60.0Billion tonnes CO2 50.0 40.0 30.0 20.0 10.0 0.0 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 Year
    8. 8. Global emission of fossil fuel CO2 (inc. cement) 90.0 Rio + 20 80.0 Global economic downturn 70.0 60.0Billion tonnes CO2 50.0 … yet emissions have continued to rise (~6% in 2010, ~3% 2011 & 12) 40.0 30.0 20.0 10.0 0.0 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 Year
    9. 9. Global emission of fossil fuel CO2 (inc. cement) 90.0 Rio + 20 80.0 70.0 60.0Billion tonnes CO2 50.0 … so what of future emissions? 40.0 30.0 20.0 10.0 0.0 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 Year
    10. 10. Global emission of fossil fuel CO2 (inc. cement) 90.0 Rio + 20 80.0 Energy system design lives (lock-in) 70.0  Supply technologies 25-50 year  Large scale infrastructures 60.0 30-100 yearsBillion tonnes CO2  Built environment 50.0  Aircraft and ships ~30 years 40.0 30.0 20.0 10.0 0.0 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 Year
    11. 11. Global emission of fossil fuel CO2 (inc. cement) 90.0 Emission assumptions Rio + 20 80.0  OECD emissions reduce from 2012 70.0  India/Africa join globilisation 2020/25 60.0  China/India peaks emissions by 2030/45Billion tonnes CO2 50.0  Africa emissions rise to peak in 2060 40.0 30.0 20.0 10.0 0.0 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 Year
    12. 12. Global emission of fossil fuel CO2 (inc. cement) 90.0 Rio + 20 80.0 70.0 60.0Billion tonnes CO2 50.0 ~3000GtCO2 for 2000-2050 40.0 ~5000GtCO2 for 2000-2100 30.0 … i.e. a 4°C – 6°C rise between 2050 & 2100 20.0 10.0 0.0 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 Year
    13. 13. Global emission of fossil fuel CO2 (inc. cement) 90.0 Rio + 20 80.0 A1FI 70.0 RCP8.5 60.0Billion tonnes CO2 50.0 40.0 30.0 … i.e. a 4°C – 6°C rise between 2050 & 2100 20.0 10.0 0.0 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 Year
    14. 14. Global emission of fossil fuel CO2 (inc. cement) 90.0 Rio + 20 80.0 70.0 60.0Billion tonnes CO2 50.0 40.0 … outside chance 30.0 20.0 10.0 0.0 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 Year
    15. 15. Global emission of fossil fuel CO2 (inc. cement) 90.0 Rio + 20 80.0 70.0 60.0Billion tonnes CO2 50.0  demand technologies: 1-10 years  demand behaviours: now-10 years 40.0 D 30.0 Too eearly for supply m 20.0 a 10.0 n Supply d & demand 0.0 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 Year
    16. 16. The Emperors undergarments an „orthodox‟ view on 2°C
    17. 17. “To keep … global average temperature rise close to 2°C … the UK [must] cutemissions by at least 80% ... the good news is that reductions of that size arepossible without sacrificing the benefits of economic growth and rising prosperity.” CCC 2009/11
    18. 18. Still looks naked to me2°C – a alternative take …
    19. 19. “… it is difficult to envisage anything other than a planned economic recessionbeing compatible with stabilisation at or below 650ppmv CO2e” Anderson & Bows 2008/11
    20. 20. Do climate ‘scientists’ take anyresponsibility for the streaking Emperor?
    21. 21. EU Inconsistencies in 2°C targets  Copenhagen Accord: “hold … below 2 degrees Celsius”  EU: “do not exceed 2°C”  UK Low Carbon Transition Plan: “must rise no more than 2°C”IPCC language: a “very unlikely” to “exceptionally unlikely” chance of exceeding 2°C i.e. less than a 10% chance of exceeding 2°CDespite this:  UK Government has adopted a pathway with a 63% of exceeding 2°C
    22. 22. … even then it assumes the UK should have a veryinequitable share of the 63% chance of exceeding 2°C… a position far removed from the Copenhagen Accordand Cancun Agreement‟s “… on the basis of equity”.
    23. 23. Anderson-Bows: (CO2 only)(Royal Society‟s Philosophical Transactions – Jan 2011 ~50:50 chance of exceeding 2°C
    24. 24. Anderson-Bows: (CO2 only)(Royal Society‟s Philosophical Transactions – Jan 2011 ~50:50 chance of exceeding 2°C Peak 2025 Growth 3.5% p.a Reduction 7% p.a. (2x Stern!)
    25. 25. Anderson-Bows: (CO2 only)(Royal Society‟s Philosophical Transactions – Jan 2011 ~50:50 chance of exceeding 2°C
    26. 26. Anderson-Bows: (CO2 only)(Royal Society‟s Philosophical Transactions – Jan 2011 ~50:50 chance of exceeding 2°C Peak ~2010 Reduction ∞% p.a.
    27. 27. … for a still lower chance of 2°C, Annex 1 nations need at least a… … 10% reduction in emissions year on year  40% reduction by 2015  70% 2020  90+% 2030 Impossible?… is living with a 4°C – 6°C global rise by 2050-2100 less impossible?
    28. 28. How do two such fundamentally differentinterpretations of the challenge arisefrom the same science?
    29. 29. … for many analysis/scenarios:  Recent historical emissions sometimes ‘mistaken’ or ‘massaged’  Short-term emission growth seriously down played  Peak year choice ‘Machiavellian’ & dangerously misleading  Reduction rate universally dictated by economists  Geoengineering widespread in low carbon scenarios  Assumptions about ‘Big’ technology naively optimisticCollectively – they have a magician‟s view of time & a linear view of problems ?
    30. 30. 2°C – a political & scientific creed?
    31. 31. Senior political scientist (2010)“Too much is invested in 2°C for us to say its not possible – itwould undermine all that‟s been achievedIt‟ll give a sense of hopelessness – we may as well just give inAre you suggesting we have to lie about our research findings?Well, perhaps just not be so honest – more dishonest …”
    32. 32. Senior Government Advisor (2010)“We can‟t tell them (ministers & politicians) it‟s impossibleWe can say it‟s a stretch and ambitious – but that, withpolitical will, 2°C is still a feasible target”
    33. 33. DECC SoS (2010) - day before attending Copenhagen“Our position is challenging enough, I can‟t go with the messagethat 2°C is impossible – it‟s what we‟ve all worked towards”
    34. 34. … the IEA, PwC et al reports demonstrate howscientists are slowly beginning to acknowledge thatwe‟re heading towards 4°C; but still very few areyet prepared to be candid about what 2°C or 3°Cdemands in terms of mitigation
    35. 35. … in the meantime were planning for: up to 30GW of new gas fired powerstations tax breaks for shale gas the rejection of a 2030 decarbonisation standard for electricity the collapse of a large-scale CCS demonstration plant new airport capacity aviation dropped from EUETS weakened EU standards for cars shipping planning for a four-fold increase in emissions by 2050
    36. 36. and for Wales … Plan for:  regional impacts of global ~4°C by ~2050 & ~6°C by ~2100 (Vicky)  global repercussions, including - disruption to food imports - potential mass migration - military tensionThere are no precedents for a 9 billion population with such rapidly rising temperatures
    37. 37. But“… this is not a message of futility, but a wake-up call ofwhere our rose-tinted spectacles have brought us. Realhope, if it is to arise at all, will do so from a bareassessment of the scale of the challenge we now face.” Anderson & Bows. Beyond „dangerous climate change Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Jan 2011
    38. 38. … a final message of hope ..“at every level the greatest obstacle totransforming the world is that we lack theclarity and imagination to conceive that itcould be different.” Roberto Unger

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