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KYOTO A Viable Response to Global Warming?. Part 2 presented by Murray Ward University of Victoria A VUW Chaplaincy and Eco-justice Group event 5 October 2005. A big picture perspective by John Ashton , E3G.

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kyoto a viable response to global warming

KYOTOA Viable Response toGlobal Warming?

Part 2 presented by Murray Ward

University of Victoria

A VUW Chaplaincy and Eco-justice Group event

5 October 2005

a big picture perspective by john ashton e3g
A big picture perspectiveby John Ashton , E3G
  • “…As global average temperatures rise glaciers melt, sea level rises, extreme weather events become more severe and more frequent; crop and species distributions change as do those of disease vectors such as mosquitoes. It is possible that forests which currently absorb carbon dioxide change so much that they become a source of the gas. The great ocean heat transfer system that warms most of the countries bordering the North Atlantic may stop. In a global society, we are all interconnected. The systems of commerce and industry we have created to provide food, shelter, and well-being to the nearly seven billion of us who now share our world have thresholds of tolerance beyond which they degrade………cont’d
We watch, often helplessly, as the consequences of each natural disaster, epidemic, human conflict, power failure or act of terror sweep rapidly around the world. The stresses resulting from an unstable climate will be more serious than any such single event. They will make each of these diverse kinds of harm more frequent and more severe. They will, over time, displace millions of people from their homelands, dislocate agriculture, fuel competing interests within and between nations over access to water, productive land and other resources. They will inhibit investment and unsettle markets. They will spread diseases and disrupt communications. They will create the conditions in which criminals and terrorists thrive and consumers and citizens are demoralised.”
the political challenge
The Political Challenge
  • EU leaders and likemindeds
    • Addressing climate change is theglobal challenge of the 21st century
    • Urgent now
    • If significant action not taken in the next 20 years the option to avoid dangerous interference will be lost (Keep global warming under 2oC!)
  • Bush Administration and likemindeds
    • So perhaps climate change is happening
    • But it is premature to think about a “beyond 2012” framework
    • Climate change is a long term problem
    • Technological solutions providing deep reductions in 20-30 years is the right way to go forward
  • Major Developing Countries
    • Yes climate change is urgent and we’re very vulnerable
    • But eradicating poverty and sustainable development is our key priority
    • You industrialised countries are responsible and have to act first
    • We need the best climate friendly technologies… but can’t afford them
reframing the mitigation challenge
Reframing the mitigation challenge
  • Huge expected investments in energy infrastructure e.g. IEA’s 2003 World Energy Investment Outlook $16 trillion out to 2030, majority in developing countries
  • China and India: Huge growth in energy demand, large domestic coal reserves
  • How to mobilise finance in “climate clean” technology in long-life infrastructure investments
challenge is formidable

Assumed Advances In

  • Fossil Fuels
  • Energy intensity
  • Nuclear
  • Renewables

Global Carbon Emissions

Challengeis Formidable

Atmospheric GHG Concentrations Stabilized

  • “Gap” Technologies
  • More of All of the Above
  • Biological Sequestration
  • Carbon Capture and Disposal
  • Hydrogen and Advanced Transportation
  • Biotechnologies

The “Gap”

Reference: Jae Edmonds, Battelle

causes for pessimism technology estimates by robert socolow
Causes for pessimism(Technology estimates by Robert Socolow)
  • Doing the following (which reduces emissions in 2050 by about 25 billion tonnes CO2 compared with a reference scenario) provides only about a one in sixteen chance of keeping global warming at 2oC:
    • Displacing 2 billion conventional cars by hydrogen vehicles
    • Sequestering carbon from 800 Huntly-size (1000 MW) coal fired power stations
    • Increasing the world’s wind power capacity by a factor of 70
    • Repowering 1400 1000 MW coal power stations with gas
    • Eliminating tropical deforestation and doubling reforestation
    • and Increasing the world’s current nuclear capacity by a factor of 10
reasons for technological optimism
Reasons for technological optimism
  • Massive reductions in global ghgs can be realised and economic growth maintained….. through a technological revolution in how we produce and consume energy
  • Take up as the new “transformative innovation” business challenge for the 21st century (“space race on earth”)
  • Technology wedges
  • Possible economies of scale in a global market
  • Recent ‘stories’:
    • Potential for fully renewable optimised EU power system
    • Biofuels
    • Marine resources (ocean, tides etc)
where does kyoto fit in
Where does Kyoto fit in?
  • First let’s dispel some myths:
    • The Kyoto Protocol is not about carbon taxes and forest credits
      • For each industrialised country Kyoto provided an emissions target and flexible means for how countries can meet this target
    • The fact that China and India don’t have targets is not a flaw of Kyoto
    • Ratifying Kyoto is not about making money….and never was
    • Kyoto was never expected to solve the climate change problem
      • By establishing emission targets, having a measurement and compliance system and allowing emissions trading, Kyoto has enabled a new global financial market to emerge – the “carbon market”
beyond kyoto or post 2012
“Beyond Kyoto” or “post 2012”
  • Strong endorsement by many of a framework that builds on the Kyoto carbon market model
  • But needs to be more inclusive (the US and major developing countries)
  • Greater flexibility in the nature of commitments, e.g. a package of:
    • for industrialised countries,binding emission limits (Kyoto-like); or
    • binding emission limits for some sectors in some regional groupings … or possibly economy-wide binding dynamic emission limits
    • binding transnational sectoral emission limits for some key sectors represented by multinational “operators” such as cement, steel and aluminium
    • for developing countries, individually customised voluntary ‘no lose’ sectoral crediting baselines in sectors for which these countries seek to attract major investment in clean technology consistent with national sustainable development priorities
    • a project-based crediting mechanism to provide coverage of emission reduction/sink enhancement activities not already covered by other market-based mechanisms
adaptation a vital part of the package
Adaptation a vital part of the package
  • No matter how much emissions are reduced climate change will occur
  • The poorest least responsible countries and societies are frequently the most vulnerable… (but rich industrialised countries are also at risk)
  • Meeting the Millennium Development Goals put (further) in doubt
  • Need to build adaptation to climate change into national sustainable development plans
  • Importance of public funded Development Assistance… and private sector foreign direct investment
  • Critical role of multilateral development banks (e.g. World Bank, Asia Development Bank etc) … but also private development banks
  • Also critical links between climate change and global trade
prospects for success
Prospects for success
  • Indicators for optimism
    • Attention of world leaders (“G8 plus”, World Economic Forum)
    • Heightened media attention and public awareness (check out )
    • Hopes for progress in US through state-level and congressional initiatives
    • Leadership role being taken up by regions and cities …. and community and religious groups
  • Need a “Team World” effort, perhaps from the bottom up