Climate Change Conference, 2010  The 2 degree climate protection target! Dr Frank McGovern,  Environmental Protection Agen...
<ul><li>1992, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)  </li></ul><ul><li>Objective   “ To stabilise atmospheric...
<ul><li>How did we get to a 2C target? </li></ul><ul><li>Some “current” science from the IPCC 4 th  Assessment Report  (AR...
<ul><li>Greenhouse effect 1850s  </li></ul><ul><li>Modern climate change science has long history that effectively starts ...
<ul><li>Charles Keeling,  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Started measurements atmospheric CO2 levels in Mauna Loa, 1958 </li></ul><...
Current science: IPCC AR4 Human impacts in CO 2  and other GHG records
Current science: IPCC AR4 <ul><li>Observations  </li></ul><ul><li>Warming unequivocal  : 0.74°C over the last 100 years </...
Current science
Current science: IPCC AR4
Current science: IPCC AR4 Future temperature increases.
Current science: IPCC AR4
<ul><li>Key points  </li></ul><ul><li>At 450ppm CO 2 e there is a 50:50 chance of staying below 2C </li></ul><ul><li>Long ...
Implications  Guidance form the IPCC 4 th  Assessment Report IPCC This lead directly to the EU Climate and Energy Package ...
The 2C target <ul><li>Established as EU position ahead of Kyoto UNFCCC meeting  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on the science...
Some reflections on the 2C target <ul><li>Strengths  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is easy to communicate  </li></ul></ul><ul><...
Conclusions   <ul><li>Achievement of the two degree target is possible.  </li></ul><ul><li>The required transformation to ...
Thank you  The future!  That’s  up to all of us.
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The EU 2 degree target - Dr Frank McGovern, EPA - EPA Climate Change Conference, June 2010

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  • Mention Bert Bolin and his role in this
  • First graph is TS.11
  • The EU 2 degree target - Dr Frank McGovern, EPA - EPA Climate Change Conference, June 2010

    1. 1. Climate Change Conference, 2010 The 2 degree climate protection target! Dr Frank McGovern, Environmental Protection Agency
    2. 2. <ul><li>1992, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) </li></ul><ul><li>Objective “ To stabilise atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. </li></ul><ul><li>1997, EU adopted 2 o C climate protection target </li></ul><ul><li>“ Dangerous” climate change is avoided if global temperature does not increase by more than 2 o C above pre-industrial levels </li></ul><ul><li>2009, Copenhagen Accord </li></ul><ul><li>Puts the 2 o C target on the UNFCCC agenda. </li></ul>Context: Protecting the Earth’s Climate
    3. 3. <ul><li>How did we get to a 2C target? </li></ul><ul><li>Some “current” science from the IPCC 4 th Assessment Report (AR4) </li></ul><ul><li>Implications and responses </li></ul><ul><li>The future </li></ul>Contents
    4. 4. <ul><li>Greenhouse effect 1850s </li></ul><ul><li>Modern climate change science has long history that effectively starts in Carlow! </li></ul><ul><li>John Tyndall, solved a k ey question: Why is the Earth so warm? Answer : The greenhouse effect, carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and water vapour </li></ul><ul><li>Global warming a first estimate </li></ul><ul><li>Sweden 1860s : Svante Arrhenius e stimated increase in global average temperature if atmospheric CO 2 levels doubled </li></ul><ul><li>First estimate of climate sensitivity. His calculation is remarkably close to current estimate 3°C. </li></ul>How we got here:a brief history, the 19 th Century
    5. 5. <ul><li>Charles Keeling, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Started measurements atmospheric CO2 levels in Mauna Loa, 1958 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unequivocal evidence of what is happening in our atmosphere </li></ul></ul><ul><li>World Climate Conference, 1979 </li></ul><ul><li>Formation of the IPCC, 1988 </li></ul><ul><li>First assessment report leads to the formation of the UNFCCC, 1992 </li></ul>How we got here, A brief history: the 20 th Century
    6. 6. Current science: IPCC AR4 Human impacts in CO 2 and other GHG records
    7. 7. Current science: IPCC AR4 <ul><li>Observations </li></ul><ul><li>Warming unequivocal : 0.74°C over the last 100 years </li></ul><ul><li>Sea level rising: mainly due to thermal expansion </li></ul><ul><li>Snow and ice cover is reducing </li></ul>
    8. 8. Current science
    9. 9. Current science: IPCC AR4
    10. 10. Current science: IPCC AR4 Future temperature increases.
    11. 11. Current science: IPCC AR4
    12. 12. <ul><li>Key points </li></ul><ul><li>At 450ppm CO 2 e there is a 50:50 chance of staying below 2C </li></ul><ul><li>Long life greenhouse gases atmospheric levels are at 450 CO 2 e </li></ul><ul><li>Cooling by other pollutants such as sulphates means that </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we are effectively at 390 CO 2 e </li></ul></ul><ul><li>key message </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We don’t have much time to sort this out ! </li></ul></ul>Key points and a clear message
    13. 13. Implications Guidance form the IPCC 4 th Assessment Report IPCC This lead directly to the EU Climate and Energy Package Targets: 20% emissions reductions relative to 1990, or 30% as part of a Global deal.
    14. 14. The 2C target <ul><li>Established as EU position ahead of Kyoto UNFCCC meeting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on the science in the IPCC second assessment report 1996 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Positioned the EU as a global leader in climate protection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Major review of the 2C target following publication of the IPCC 4 th Assessment Report </li></ul><ul><li>More challenging goal e.g. linked to 450CO 2 e rather than 550CO 2 e </li></ul><ul><li>Less clear barrier to major impacts (greater reasons for concern) </li></ul><ul><li>EU reiterated support ahead of Bali and Copenhagen UNFCCC meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Wording “as far below 2C as possible” </li></ul><ul><li>Came forward with climate and energy package/targets </li></ul><ul><li>The 2C target is included in the Copenhagen Accord supported by US, Brazil South Africa and others </li></ul>
    15. 15. Some reflections on the 2C target <ul><li>Strengths </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is easy to communicate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sets a global goal with clear implications for GHG emission pathways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not linked a specific GHG stabilisation level (UNFCCC objective) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow other options e.g. actions on ozone and black carbon (soot) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Weaknesses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simplification, e.g., does not account for other variables (rainfall) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not account for sea-level rise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not linked to a specific GHG stabilisation level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May not be fit for it purpose ! A scientific review is built into the Accord. </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Conclusions <ul><li>Achievement of the two degree target is possible. </li></ul><ul><li>The required transformation to a low emission society needs to be politically, strategically and operationally linked to global actions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All policy options need to be considered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This needs to embrace emissions from all sectors and to enhance sinks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Coordinated global policy implementation is required </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A global to local R&D programme is also required </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enhanced regional actions may also contribute e.g. UNECE work on soot carbon. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Thank you The future! That’s up to all of us.

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