UN warns ‘gigatonne gap’ could amplify climate change
Global targets to keep a temperature rise under 2°C have to be met in order to avoid the impending, potentially devastating effects of global warming, says a UN report. Alex Blackburne looks into it.
The effects of climate change are already evident. Melting ice caps, slightly increased temperatures and rising sea levels are fast becoming major problems in the world.
These effects could be amplified ten-fold if global carbon emissions targets aren’t met.
This is according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which says that keeping temperature rises under 2°C is the key to avoid the shattering consequences of mankind’s industrial and technological misbehaviour and ignorance.
The report, called Bridging the Emissions Gap, explained that this was an entirely achievable feat, but only if the most influential and advanced industries pulled together.
“The gap can be bridged by making realistic changes in the energy system, in particular, by further increasing its efficiency and accelerating the introduction of renewable energies“, it says.
“From the viewpoint of different sectors of the economy, the gap can be bridged by pursuing a wide range of technically feasible measures to reduce emissions in different sectors.“
The so-called ‘gap’ refers to the difference between the expected emissions in 2020 and the global emissions needed to achieve the 2°C target. It was also researched in another UNEP report called Emissions Gap Report [http://www.unep.org/publications/ebooks/emissionsgapreport/] in December 2010.
The predecessor report claimed that global emissions needed to not exceed 44 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide by 2020 to ensure the devastating effects of climate change don’t surface.
In line with UNEP’s warnings, as well as the requirements for large-scale organisations in particular to reduce their carbon emissions, Saturday December 3rd sees the second annual Gigaton Awards take place in Durban, South Africa.
The awards “[honour] businesses for outstanding performance as defined by measurable carbon reductions and quantifiable steps toward sustainability”.
Blue & Green Tomorrow will be providing a full review of the ceremony after the event, so stay tuned to our site to find out about all the winners, losers, movers and shakers from South Africa.
If you would like to invest in companies that are already endeavouring to keep their emissions down, or are at the forefront of the battle to find new, clean energy and technologies, ask your financial adviser, if you have one, or complete our online form and we’ll connect you with a specialist ethical adviser.
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