Saving Our Planet – Our Point of View about Climate Change
25 June 2017
2017 – Another last chance to start reducing CO2
With CO2 in the atmosphere over 410ppm and rising, today we are on track for 4oC of global warming and catastrophic climate change. The 2oC limit World Leaders agreed at COP21 in December 2015 is still achievable, but only if there is a quantum leap in implementing CO2 reductions.
Saving Our Planet provides essential information, training and videos about climate change – the real truth about climate change. This is our Point of View regarding climate change as of May 2017.
Please note that when we say CO2, we always mean CO2 equivalent, including other greenhouse gases (GHG) like methane, nitrous oxide and Fluorinated gases. CO2 accounts for over 80% of global warming.
Time to change how we fight Climate Change?
To date, the battle to implement the agreed 2oC limit has been unsuccessful. If we are to win against climate change, we need to change: from talking to action, from the vague future to the immediacy of today, and from high level to personal. It’s time to spell out the real truth about climate change!
No More Excuses
After years of work by scientists, we know what needs to be done. Essentially:
- To shift energy production from high-CO2 emitting fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas), which currently provides around 80% of the world’s energy, to low/no CO2 alternatives such as energy from the sun, wind, hydro, waves, plants, underground heat and also from nuclear.
- More research, including into different energy sources, energy efficiency energy storage and into CO2 Capture and Storage.
- Stop Deforestation Now.
- Sustainable Agriculture. Agriculture is currently a large part of the problem, by creating around 10% of CO2. As well as reducing damaging methane emissions from animals, agriculture could become part of the solution, by changing processes to increase the amount of organic carbon matter in the soil, and to use deforested and less productive land for tree-planting.
- Tree-planting – to take advantage of nature’s way to remove CO2
- Appropriate ways to reduce population growth – to avoid creating more CO2.
- Sustainable Planet. We all need to face the fact that, living on a planet with limited resources, unrestricted growth of consumption is not an option. Instead we need a sustainable balance between consumption and the finite resources of our planet.
Time for a New Approach? No CO2
People are confused about climate change because we have a target to limit global warming to 2oC which is a temperature, but the means to get to this target is all about reducing and removing CO2.
From today, No CO2 must be the aim, the strategy, the overriding principle to save our planet from climate change. The key to achieving the 2oC limit is all about raising understanding and generating action to reduce and remove CO2. We propose:
- No CO2 as the key strategy going forward to reduce CO2 globally
- Target No CO2: Reduce our CO2 emissions to no more than what can be absorbed naturally by the earth, plants, trees and oceans.
- How much CO2 is in that? If people are to reduce their CO2, then people need to understand much more about the CO2 content of what they buy, and how much CO2 they create – around 9 Tonnes per person per annum in the UK.
- Set a price for CO2. The UK has a carbon floor price for power stations which is currently fixed at £18 per tonne of CO2 until 2021. In the EU, it looks like the €20 price level that is needed to get fuel switching from average coal plants to modern gas plants in the base load power production would be reached only in the second half of phase 4, ie around 2027-28. The opportunity is to extend Carbon Pricing to other areas and to increase the price in order to apply more incentive to move from fossil fuels.
- Ask for the low CO2 option. We are all consumers. We each make decisions every day about energy use: in the home, for the community, or at work. It’s time for us to make a difference: Always ask for low/No CO2 option.
- Less CO2 helps the UN Sustainability Develooment Goals (SDG’s). Of these 17 Goals, no less than 9 relate to climate change. Isn’t it time to show how less CO2 helps to achieve the UN SDG’s?
- CO2 Aware: Check out this from Saving Our Planet: 5 facts everyone needs to know about Climate Change [Link to blog Post on SOP Website]
- Action on CO2: Check out this from Saving Our Planet: Top 10 Tips for what people really need to do about Climate Change in 2017
- N0CO2: At SB46 in May 2017, Saving Our Planet launched N0CO2 – an exciting campaign so everyone can join in to fight climate change: remove your CO2, reach out to others, and join in. See org
A Climate Turning Point by 2020?
In April 2017 the UNFCCC Newsroom included a link to the new initiative 2020 The Turning Point, by Mission2020. We are pleased to join with Cristiana Figueres, Nicholas Stern and others to welcome this report:
- We like the linkage between Milestones by 2020, achievement of the SDG’s by 2030 and the Net Zero CO2 by 2050. We like the milestones that need to be achieved, for example electric vehicles by 2020 would need to account for 15-20% of new car sales globally, and high level plans globally to double the use of public transport by 2025.
- It’s good to see Carbon Pricing is part of the plan. In the market economy in which we live, there will be nothing more effective to get people to switch away from fossil fuels, than by creating a price differential between high CO2 fossil fuels and low CO2 alternatives. This can be achieved by levies on CO2, or on pollution, or by regulation. Plans to introduce a surcharge for older diesel cars in Central London show there is plenty of scope to introduce charges locally – but what is important is that the money raised must go to fighting climate change.
- While very positive about large-scale land restoration by re-forestation, we feel this report focused too much on what is already planned, and misses the opportunity to say more about the opportunity to increase forestry yet further.
- Nuclear power is notable as an omission from this. If other technologies move forward so we can economically and reliably achieve 1.5oC to 2oC without nuclear, then that is good. If not, then nuclear must remain an important part of the energy mix.
How to reduce CO2 by 5% in 2017?
Our Point of View is that pinpoint focus is needed to reduce and remove CO2 in 2017. Thanks to the hard work of scientists and others, we have a growing body of authoritative papers about what needs to be done to fight and win against climate change, including: UNFCCC papers leading up to the 2015 Paris Agreement, 2020 The Turning Point, the UN SDG’s and for example the US November 2016 Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonisation.
The challenge we set is how to reduce CO2 by 5% in 2017? Our action list is below. Our aim here is to galvanise action, to generate discussion, and to provide an action list for all those at COP23 in Bonn in November 2017:
- To make everyone aware of the need to reduce CO2. Your CO2: Stop what you can. Compensate for the rest.
- To communicate that CO2, coal, oil and gas are bad and on the way out, and that alternatives, tree-planting and No CO2 are good and on the way in
- To implement the Mission2020 report – in 2017
- Put a price on CO2: make sure people how much CO2 everything is creating
- Shut down coal
- Remove subsidies on coal, oil and gas. The consequences of this are clearly stated in the latter half of this video: https://theclimatecinema.org/climate-change-do-the-math/
- Stop deforestation now.
- Tree-planting on an epic scale. This is the most affordable geo-engineering strategy to achieve negative net emissions: to regrow destroyed forests, to build green belts around cities to force them to grow vertically instead of horizontally over natural and agricultural land, and finally, grow plants and trees in urban/arid areas and desert oases. This is far easier, and much more eco-logical, than trying to scale out any non-biomass based technology.
- Together we can: It’s time for all organisations and individuals with an interest in climate change to start to work together.
What do you think?
Please let us have your response and comments to our ideas and our challenge. Email us at [email protected]