The International Panel on Climate Change has recommended drastic changes to individual lifestyles and much greater investment in renewable energy and carbon-free electricity generation to mitigate the potentially drastic effects of global-warming.
Yesterday, the IPCC stressed the urgency of rapidly-reducing emissions from fossil-fuel energy generation (coal) and advised that there are ‘ limited number; of scenarios which suggest that it is possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to give a greater than 50% chance of avoiding 1.5 degrees warming.
The IPCC says to do so requires immediate mitigation action, such as the ‘rapid up-scaling of the full portfolio of mitigation technologies; and development along a low‐energy demand trajectory’.
The panel of scientific experts said that a global estimate of adaptation costs of $100 billion per year by 2050 is likely to be a .gross underestimate’.
The report added: “The costs of achieving nearly universal access to electricity and clean fuels for cooking and heating are $72 to $95 billion per year until 2030. They will yield large health benefits.
“A rapid shift in funding towards energy efficiency and low carbon energy is necessary. Over the next two decades investment in energy efficiency in transport, buildings and industry should increase by $336 billion per year, investment in low carbon energy should double to around $300 billion a year and investment in fossil fuel electricity supply should decline by around $30 billion to around $100 billion. “
And it issues a grim warning about lifestyles: the report adds; “Behaviour change – e.g. in transport, diet – will also be necessary”.
Dr. Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, commented: “Bold international action to cut our use of fossil fuels is urgently required to steer the planet away from catastrophic climate change.
“If we’re to avoid levels of climate change that will be impossible to adapt to, governments must stand up to the fossil fuel industry and get serious about the huge potential of clean renewable power. Scotland has a major contribution to make in making this transition.
“Rich nations must take the lead by rapidly weaning themselves off coal, gas and oil and funding low-carbon growth in poorer countries.
“The IPCC report is clear: we already have the technologies to make the journey to safe, clean energy. But the clock is ticking, we must act now.”
Ed Davey, UK Energy Minister, commented: “We are investing in low carbon and energy efficiency technologies – with increased focus on home-grown renewables – to reduce our reliance of foreign imports and create a sustainable supply of affordable energy for consumers and businesses alike.
“We are also pushing for an ambitious EU energy and climate change package that will lead to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and will take us on the next step to tackling climate change.