Climate change Challenges and Opportunities Ian Lowe April 28, 2009 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Climate change Challenges and Opportunities Ian Lowe April 28, 2009
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Climate change Challenges and Opportunities Ian Lowe April 28, 2009

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  1. Climate change Challenges and Opportunities Ian Lowe April 28, 2009

  2. IPCC report, 18 Nov. 2007 • Evidence of warming “unequivocal” • Effects could be “abrupt or irreversible” • All countries will be affected • Poor nations, low-lying areas • Emission cuts “moderate cost” • Window of opportunity closing fast

  3. “global average surface temperature now about 0.8o above its level in 1750… significant increases in the incidence of floods, droughts, heat waves and wildfires… it appears the intensity of tropical storms has been increasing as well”

  4. Earth is overheating

  5. Shopping centre car park: Newcastle

  6. Local adaptations • Temperature regime • Rainfall patterns • Sea level • Extreme events • Vector-borne disease • Cropping • Balance of natural systems

  7. Some economic impacts • Reduced agricultural production • Water supply, e.g. Perth desalination • Extreme events, e.g. 1999 Sydney hailstorm, > $2000 million, 2003 Canberra bushfires ~ $400 million • Cyclone Larry, ~ $1000 million in direct costs + effect on tourism… • Defending coastal assets

  8. Impacts on human health • Direct impacts, e.g. heat stress • Effects of vector-borne disease • Severe events: storms, floods • Indirect effects: food supply, balance of ecological systems • WHO report, local studies

  9. “There is now compelling evidence that both the extent and the impacts of climate change are likely to be at the higher end of the range projected by the IPCC” • Australian Climate Group 2008

  10. Copenhagen March 2009 • Upper range of sea level rise > 1 m • West Antarctic ice sheet unstable ? • 20 rise, 20 - 40 % Amazon dieback, 30 75 % dieback, effectively irreversible • 20 rise, forest CO2 absorption ½ • So 20 unsafe, 30 impacts “unthinkable”

  11. How close is 20 ? • Current CO2 380 ppm • With other GHG, ~ 460 ppm CO2 equiv • 510 ppm, 67 % chance warming > 20

  12. IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri “Every country in the world has to be committed to a shared vision and a set of common goals and actions … help us move toward a much lower level of emissions”

  13. Bali 2007: the way forward • Political leadership • “contract and converge” only approach ? • IPCC 11/07: global cuts by 2015 • Annex I 20 – 45 % by 2020 • Then 80 to 95 % by 2050

  14. 1200 1000 800 Kyoto target 600 400 200 60 - 90% reductions 0 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 Energy Transport Fugitive, waste and industrial processes) Agriculture Land clearing Australia’s Emissions (Mt) Business As Usual Where we are now heading What we need to achieve Source: Adapted from the Australian Greenhouse Gas Inventory and ABARE projections

  15. Sustainable energy future • Turn energy more efficiently into services [transport, cooling, lighting, motive power etc] • Move away from: • supply technologies based on limited resources • technologies imposing unacceptable environmental costs

  16. Every country • Should recognise as global issue • Should develop its own approach • Local needs • Local resources • Cultural traditions • Social structures • Economic opportunities

  17. Crisis = danger + opportunity

  18. Some economic opportunities • Clean energy supply systems • Demand management technologies • Efficient appliances • Information technologies • Improved communications • Resource - efficient approaches • Water supply and use • Efficient food production

  19. “We need a new ethic by which every human being realises the importance of the challenge and starts to take action through changes in lifestyle and attitude” - Pachauri

  20. Conclusion • We can make a difference • A global effort needed to prevent dangerous climate change • “the over-arching issue” • Our moral responsibility to other species and to future generations

  21. What we do today determines the world we live in tomorrow

  22. Xie xie Thank you for listening Any questions?