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Bleak forecast

Nov 20,2017 - Last updated at Nov 20,2017

The recently concluded two-week climate talks in Bonn revealed a disappointing truth: the globe is set to warm at least 3oC this century, well above the goal of 2oC, and later lower, the 196-nation Paris Agreement had called and hoped for in 2015 if humanity were to stem climate change and the host of negative repercussions accompanying it.

One of the countries acknowledging that it will miss the goals it had set itself for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 because of its continued reliance on coal power was Germany.

But most countries at the Bonn conference acknowledged that the world is still failing to prevent serious global warming in the decades ahead. 

This is a real disappointment.

Scientists across the globe are in agreement that global CO2 emissions from human activities, estimated at 41 billion tonnes for 2017, are still rising after a 3-year hiatus, and that constitutes a “giant leap backwards for mankind”.

Burning oil, gas and especially coal to power the global economy, together with deforestation, plays a critical role in overheating the earth — melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, which raise seas to dangerous levels — and leads to more extreme heatwaves and droughts.

Major contributors to this disturbing state of affairs are China, which alone accounts for nearly 30 per cent of global carbon pollution, the US, the EU and India.

With the US out of the Paris accord and its president lifting curbs on using coal for generating energy — for the first time in five years, US coal use is projected to rise — and with the Paris Agreement resting on voluntary carbon-cutting pledges from world countries, which, in many cases, acknowledge that shifting away from fossil fuel to clean energy requires serious discussions and strong will on the part of policymakers, the future does not look encouraging.

Experts say that the global economy is not shifting quickly enough from fossil fuels to low- or zero-carbon energy. While solar and wind energy have grown 14 per cent annually since 2012, they still account for only less than 4 per cent of global energy consumption.

Now, the International Energy Agency says the transition from dirty to clean energy has been slowed by oil, gas and coal subsidies that exceeded $320 million in 2015.

If all this money were put to shifting to clean energy, away from populist policies that eventually will prove a failure, we would leave a better legacy for future generations.

Climate scientists say that in order to maintain warming at below 2oC, global emissions, which are expected to peak in the next few years, will have to be cut by half every decade to reach zero by the middle of the century.

That is a goal that, from the look of things so far, might be difficult to reach, if at all. 

 

If mankind does not commit to serious measures to curb, maybe totally forego, the use of fossil fuel, we might leave behind a scorched planet that cannot sustain life anymore.

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Comments

MY PRESIDENT SAID THAT WE NEED TO DRIL MORE OIL AND BURN MORE COAL PLUT SET MORE FOREST FIRES SO WHAT YOU MEAN BY CUTTING GREENHOUSE GASES?. WE ARE THE SUPER POWER AND YOU MUST TAKE ORDERS FROM US. WE ARE THE JUDGE AND THE JURRY AND WE HAVE HAMMERED OUT THE RULES THROUGH OUR SECURITY COUNCIL.

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