I do not think that the developed nations of the world are ready to endorse the actions they have signed onto when they authorized the Paris Agreement (PA). They liked the applause they were receiving from the media and the environmentalists. But they have not responded in-kind to their commitments for reducing CO2 emissions or contributions to the fund that helps the underdeveloped nations. See here and here. Vox posting on 4 October 2016 said “No country on Earth is taking the 2ºC climate target seriously”. The Climateactiontracker.org posted this quote: “Right now, with the policies governments have in place, we are heading to a warming of 3.6C said Prof Kornelis Blok of Ecofys.”The developed nations realize that it is time for them to “put up or shut up”. The “put up” part is bedeviled by the fact that most of them are finding that their renewable energy installations, eg solar and wind, are raising the cost of energy to a point where many can no longer afford it. Further, they are learning that the renewables make their power systems unstable and thus vulnerable to loss of power to supply the customers and industries.
Maybe, just maybe they are becoming aware of the actions they need to undertake to keep the Global temperature rise at no more than the target of 1.5C. The 24 March 2017 Science magazine published a study titled: “A roadmap for rapid decarbonization”.
This roadmap, along with others, makes the presumption that the political will is not present to make the necessary reductions in CO2 emissions. The political class only see the 2050 end point where fossil fuels are largely eliminated and how this could impact their nation, is a mystery. So this roadmap attempts to clear up that mystery by providing details in decadal units.
The roadmap is illustrated thusly:
The study describes the roadmap’s general activities as illustrated on this chart.
A deep decarbonization scenario scientifically consistent with the Paris Agreement and its associated carbon fluxes as computed with a simple carbon cycle and climate model The “carbon law” scenario of halving emissions every decade is marginally more ambitious than the scenario presented. Meeting the Paris Agreement goals will require bending the global curve of CO2 emissions by 2020 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. It furthermore depends on rising anthropogenic carbon sinks, from bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) engineering and land use as well as sustained natural sinks, to stabilize global temperatures. This scenario is broadly consistent with a 75% probability of limiting warming to below 2°C; a median temperature increase of 1.5°C by 2100; estimated peak median temperature increase of 1.7°C; a 50% probability of limiting warming to below 1.5°C by 2100; and CO2 concentrations of 380 ppm in 2100. Nonlinear renewable energy expansion trajectories based on 2005–2015 global trends. Keeping the historical doubling times of around 5.5 years constant in the next three decades would yield full decarbonization in the entire energy sector by ∼2040, with coal use ending around 2030–2035 and oil use, 2040–2045.
The preceding summary from the Roadmap has had minor editing because it was part of a larger slide and the references to the parts of that slide were erased. The editing did not change the substance of the summary.
The text supporting the map has more details that the summary above. Here are some of them.
- By 2020 no new coal plants will be built
- CO2 worldwide emissions will be reduced from the present level of 40 gigatonne per year by half. At the end of the 2020 to 2030 decade the emissions will be 20 gigatonnes per year.
- During the 2020 to 2030 period all coal plants in the developed countries will be shut down.
- During the 2020 to 2030 no new cars will be powered by IC engines.
- A carbon tax of $50/ton on greenhouse gases GHG) will be enacted. This tax will increase over the years to $400/ton by 2050.
- Intensive research begins to extend battery life and improved energy storage.
- Intensive research on reducing the cost of carbon capture and removing CO2 from the air will be undertaken.
- The 2030 to 2040 decade will have another halving of CO2 emission resulting in emission of 10 gigatonnes per year by 2040.
- Airplanes will be almost entirely powered by a carbon neutral fuel such as biofuels or hydrogen.
- New building construction will be largely carbon neutral by using emissions free methods for steel and concrete.
- By now the about 1 to 2 gigatonnes of CO2 from the air will be removed using BECCS.
- Another cut of CO2 emissions resulting in no more than 5 gigatonnes by 2050.
- To make net emissions zero, BECCS will be removing 5 gigatonnes from the air.
BECCS is Bio-Energy Carbon Capture and Storage. Growing plants to take up CO2 and then burning them for energy to make power, for example. Then capture the CO2 from the combustion and inject it into underground storage. BECCS is expect to require vast surface area.
Lots of solar, wind and some nukes supplemented by the BEC. Can space enough for all of these be found? Are BECCS and the renewables all completing for the same space in the same climate regions? Nukes can work almost anywhere and the don’t take up much space.
This group is also talking about Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage DACCS. Click on this to check it out.
Finally, an ominous note from this report. In the future:
GLOBAL GOVERNANCE of climate stabilization must be placed on par with economic development, human rights, democracy and peace.
The UN Security Council should be the center stage to design and implementation of the carbon roadmap.
Sounds to me like they want to put the UN in charge of the nations of the World.
Next posting will check out what some skeptics think of this plan.