Practical roadmap to turn the tide on climate change by 2020

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Practical roadmap to turn the tide on climate change by 2020

Postby Kevin » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:20 pm

An excellent new commentary in the July issue of Nature Climate Change outlines something quite amazing, that we rather desperately need.

It describes a concrete way to get the world unstuck on climate change.

Before it's too late.

The approach is elegantly designed to step around the roadblocks of special interest resistance and manufactured controversy, so that those who want to make change, can start making change — both individually and systematically — to get the world moving quickly on the quantitative scale of GHG emissions reductions that we need, now, on a global scale.

And the emissions reductions tactics envisioned, or wedges, are calibrated technically to actually match the degree of GHG reductions we need, if we hope to stay back from devastating climate tipping points.

Quantitatively valid, and sociologically effective. Wow.

Maybe there's hope after all!

Bridging the Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Gap
Kornelis Blok, Niklas Höhne, Kees van der Leun & Nicholas Harrison
Nature Climate Change 2, 471–474 (2012) doi:10.1038/nclimate1602
http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/ ... e1602.html
(subscription required)

“Twenty-one coherent major initiatives could together stimulate sufficient reductions by 2020 to bridge the global greenhouse-gas emissions gap.”

“The proposed initiatives build on actions that promise numerous benefits to the organizations and individuals undertaking them, and front-runners are already demonstrating that such benefits are real.

"These initiatives aim to take these benefits to the mainstream, drastically amplifying their impacts and showing all organizations involved that together they can play a leading role in solving the climate challenge.

"Many of the initiatives also generate significant ‘green growth’ benefits, stimulating economic development based on environmentally sound solutions and providing additional motivation to engage.

"We expect that working together on a grand coalition would serve as a catalyst for action, greatly enhancing the willingness of a range of sub-sovereign and non-state actors to contribute to greenhouse-gas emission reductions.

"This in turn would support the implementation and strengthening of the pledges for which national governments remain responsible, and eventually stimulate sufficient reductions to bridge the greenhouse-gas emissions gap.”

The approach in this outline is aimed at the essential need to get a large chunk of real progress accomplished by 2020.

Some of the tactics may need further refinement, given that 2020 is just the beginning in terms of long-term reductions needed. Long-term considerations are significant, for instance, in tactics with long impact times, like new building energy efficiency.

More importantly: The outline includes a substantive roadmap to achieve social/political dynamics that can actually drive the tactics to be accomplished.

It's a set of technical wedges to meet the need, meshed with an organizing strategy to actually get them done!

The main thing is, it looks quantitatively appropriate — and it looks like it just might be doable!

I'll quote this graphic from Bridging the Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Gap as a concise way to suggest the kinds of tactics proposed, and how carefully the authors have calculated them.

Image

And I'll quote this conclusion, that imagines how we can actually create the grand coalition to inspire and coordinate for mutual benefit the several levels of incremental, voluntary emissions reductions:

"The fundamental key for the success of 'wedging the gap' is to build a coalition of globally leading organizations in the world of business, governments, NGOs and the international community.

"In a first phase, the support of leading organizations for each initiative has to be sought.

"The focus of a second phase will be on discussing the proposal with major stakeholders within the initiatives.

"In a final phase, the focus will be to turn the individual proposals into a joint arrangement. This could for instance have the form of an umbrella covenant that is signed by ten leading organizations, to which individual entities (companies, municipalities, and so on) can accede.

"Such an official arrangement could be launched in conjunction with the UN climate negotiations in Qatar in late 2012 and finally provide the combined leadership necessary to solve the global problem of climate change."

Bridging the Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Gap
http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/ ... e1602.html
(subscription required)

More precisely, perhaps, this approach has the potential to coalesce the "combined leadership necessary to [start solving] the global problem of climate change."

I think this is absolutely critical, and extremely exciting!

The vision is big, but because it will work with the motivations of the anticipated participants, it can happen.

And because this approach only requires the consent of the willing, it can move ahead independent of special interest resistance and manufactured controversy.

This approach will let us build on the fact that most people around the planet know that climate change is real, and on the fact that a good fraction of people understand the need to act now.

This approach will let a coalition of the willing work together on change, in and out of government and business, instead of being blocked at every turn. There will still have to be fighting, over things like leaving fossil fuels in the ground.

This approach lets us start real change while those fights go on, instead of having to win those fights to get to change.

To get our climate change response unstuck - to have our emissions reductions declining at the needed slope, in 2020, is an incredible opportunity. Especially given the failure of the top-down governmental approach, in the U.S. and elsewhere, to get us on track.

It's nothing less than a chance to save the Earth, as we know it.

Let's do it! Please share this idea with your friends and followers (buttons above)!
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Kevin
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We’re Already Topping Dust Bowl Temperatures...

Postby Kevin » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:43 pm

A great article by Joe Romm at Climate Progress that updates some of the reasons why turning the corner on GHG reductions is so crucial:

We’re Already Topping Dust Bowl Temperatures — Imagine What’ll Happen If We Fail To Stop 10°F Warming
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/0 ... f-warming/

"This heat wave has broken thousands of temperature records. Climate Central reported Satuday, “In many cases, records that had stood since the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s have been equaled or exceeded, and this event is likely to go down in history as one of America’s worst.” ..."

"Why is this bad news? Because the Earth has warmed only a bit more than 1°F since the catastrophic Dust Bowl — and we are poised to warm an astounding 9-11°F this century if we stay anywhere near our current greenhouse gas emissions path."

Projection of drought conditions around mid-century (circa 2050), "if we don’t dramatically reverse greenhouse gas emissions trends":

Image
Red colors represent generally unlivable levels of severe drought, circa 2050, unless we change.
National Center for Atmospheric Research image, via Climate Progress
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Re: Practical roadmap to turn the tide on climate change by

Postby cgrove » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:53 am

I believe it all starts with yourself. I'm worried that my kids will not have the same quality of life that I have had. I see and feel the changes and I can't swallow the jive you hear on CNN. I'm just little me and my family but I teach my kids what it means to respect the environment. We recycle everything. I produce convection ovens and I'm always looking for ways to cook well with less power. I'm kinda rambling but I get emotional about this subject. I liked the article.
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