Below is chart of world CO2 emissions needed to maintain various temperatures. The RCP2.6 is the world CO2 diet for definitely staying below 2 degrees celsius of warming and having a shot at 1 degree warming. It mostly requires getting to net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 and then going about 20 billion tons per year negative by 2100. The RCP4.5 also requires going substantially negative on CO2 emissions by 2100.
The World has had climate agreements since 1992. The amount of CO2 emissions have doubled since 1985 and nearly doubled the 1992 amount.
Would you personally abandon a 26-year diet where your weight doubled while you were on the diet?
Below we will review that emissions doubled from 1985 to today.
We will review the climate agreements made from 1992 to today.
The agreements and the environmental plans have failed because
* economic growth and wealth of citizens is still connected to the amount of energy they use or the energy required to make the things they buy and use.
* the agreements and plans never had the hope of achieving the desired results
The wealth of individuals and nations is tied to energy use and energy is still nearly completely tied to emissions.
World GDP is projected to double by around 2040.
Climate change environmentalists can keep asking and demanding that China, India, the rest of Asia and other countries reduce economic activity but this will fail.
This is basically saying people all over the world should stay poor or become poor.
The electricity consumption of China, India and the rest of Asia will rapidly move to the EU per capita level. China will likely exceed the EU per capita level.
Electricity is only about one-seventh of the world energy production. Energy is generated for transportation and for manufacturing, mining, agriculture and other industry.
Even with a massive increase in solar power, electric cars and ride-sharing it will not be enough.
All those things together could get us to half of the emissions from energy. Wonderful, but remember that world GDP will double by 2040. This would mean that everything going perfect will result in stopping the increase in energy emissions.
Heroic action when there is a climate emergency?
In 2016 and 2017, marine heat waves killed half of the corals in the Great Barrier reef. It takes ten years for the coral to recover.
John Veron is the world’s top coral reef expert. Veron predicts there will be mass bleaching of coral reefs around the world in five years out of every seven. Veron believes the coral is doomed.
Between a quarter and a third of all marine species everywhere has some part of their life cycle in coral reefs. Losing the coral reefs will cause a third to a quarter of all marine species gets wiped out.
69,000 people are employed by industries associated with the Great Barrier Reef. Fisheries provide hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue while tourism based on the Reef is estimated to provide around $6 billion each year. Maintaining coral cover on the Reef, indeed any reef, is extremely important.
The Australian and Queensland governments are jointly investing approximately $200 million annually in the Reef’s health. They are seeking innovative solutions to quickly restore the ecological functions provided by the Great Barrier Reef.
* Creating a reflective surface film that would float on the surface of the water. Made from calcium carbonate (the same mineral as coral), the film would reflect sunlight, thereby lowering water temperatures and ultraviolet radiation exposure.
Australia has turned to localized geoengineering after the environmental damage became obvious.
China has devoted tens of billions to combat air pollution after millions of people have been dying each year die from air pollution for decades. China has turned to cloud seeding and skyscraper-sized air scrubbing systems.
When the world’s lumber industry caused the loss of forests did the world cut back on lumber usage? No. The lumber industry went to managed forests and grew fast-growing trees so that they could be repeatedly harvested like crops like Wheat or corn.
Expand Commercial Kelp Growth by 100 times
There is a proposal to use about 9% of the oceans surface for massive kelp farms. The Ocean surface area is about 36 billion hectares. This would offset all CO2 production and provide 0.5 kg of fish and sea vegetables per person per day for 10 billion people as an “incidental” by-product. 9% of the world’s oceans would be equivalent to about four and a half times the area of Australia.
In 2016, seaweed farms produce more than 25 million metric tonnes annually. The global value of the crop, US$6.4 billion (2014), exceeds that of the world’s lemons and limes.
A 2016 report from the World Bank estimates that the annual global seaweed production could reach 500 million dry tons by 2050 if the market is able to increase its harvest 14% per year. Hitting that 500 million mark would boost the world’s food supply by 10% from the current level, create 50 million direct jobs. The Ocean forest plan would accelerate growth of seaweed farming to 25-50% per year growth and reach about 20-60 billion tons per year of production. The world currently produces about 4 billion tons per year of agricultural products.
Emissions doubled from 1985
Carbon dioxide emissions have doubled since 1985. World carbon dioxide emissions were about 19.8 billion tons in 1985. In 2016, the world CO2 emissions were 36.1 billion tons.
Agreements made that failed from 1992 to today
President George H.W. Bush joined and other worlds leaders agreed to limit greenhouse gases at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.
There were a series of Kyoto protocol agreements from 1995-2005.
There were the Copenhagen and Cancun Agreements from 2007 to 2010. The Copenhagen Accord set a goal of limiting global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius; called on all countries to put forward mitigation pledges; established broad terms for the reporting and verification of countries’ actions; set a goal of mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020 in public and private finance for developing countries; and called for the establishment of a new Green Climate Fund.
On December 12, 2015 most the world agreed to the Paris Agreement. The Paris agreement represents a hybrid of the “top-down” Kyoto approach and the “bottom-up” approach of the Copenhagen and Cancun agreements. It establishes common binding procedural commitments (aka empty promises) for all countries, but leaves it to each to decide its nonbinding “nationally determined contribution” (NDC).
The Paris Agreement promises if kept would eliminate about 25 billion tons of CO2 emissions from now to 2030. However, countries are tracking to about 5-10 billion tons of CO2 emissions reduction. Global CO2 emissions would keep going up but would go up a bit slower.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.