In an interview with the BBC, Attenborough and the UK’s Chief Scientist (probably UK Chief Science Advisor Mark Walport) celebrated the Paris Accords in 2015.
The UK Chief Scientist was “walking on air” when they sealed the Paris Agreements. “We got it. We got it”.
The description of this celebratory reaction indicates Attenborough and Walport were both clueless and naive.
The Paris Agreements was an agreement where countries that signed were to make voluntary promises.
What will all of those voluntary promises amount to?
The Paris Agreement on climate is talking about emitting 745 billion tons of CO2 between the beginning of 2017 and the end of 2030 instead of 770 billions tons of CO2. This is the max if all promises were fully kept.
If the promises were kept then the world emits 770 billion tons of CO2 in the middle of 2030 instead of on January 1, 2030.
Shocker Empty Promises
However, surprise, surprise the promises that each of the countries chose to make are not being kept. Who would have thought that politicians and world leaders would fail to keep promises?
We would be very lucky to get to 5 to 8 billion tons of total lower emissions because most countries are falling well short of slowing the increased CO2 emissions.
So the world is looking at a delay of business as usual emissions from January 1, 2030, to about February 2030 for when full 770 billion tons of emissions are made.
Even if the voluntary promises were kept we would need about twenty times more than what was promised.
Double GDP Means 20% More Emissions
Based on the last ten years (which included a large world recession with slower growth) the world is still on track to double its purchasing power GDP every 14 years and this increases world emissions by 20%.
Country GHG emissions (MtCO2e) Percentage of global total (%) China 12455 26% United States 6674 15% European Union (28) 4225 9%
By 2030, if the US went to zero emissions and the rest of the world was business as usual including the Paris Agreement, the world would still have more emissions.
By 2035, if the US and Europe went to zero emissions and the rest of the world was business as usual including the Paris Agreement, the world would still have more emissions.
Fixing Black Carbon, Soot and Particulate Air Pollution Can Reduce Warming by 0.5 Degrees
The Gothenburg Protocol would be an agreement that would limit global Black Carbon and Soot. However, about eight more countries must sign before the other countries are bound to the terms. Those who signed before the end of 2019 can delay limitations for fifteen years.
China is spending hundreds of billions to make massive fixes to its air pollution. This includes getting 90+% of its big trucks cleaned up by the end of 2020.
China is actually following through on fixing air pollution because it kills one million people per year and is costing about 7% of GDP. It is profitable and worth it to fix the problem and it makes the populace happier and less likely to revolt and kills the leaders. Revolting and killing leaders or revolting and tossing out leaders happened twice in the 20th Century in China.
Politicians may lie but they do not want to die.
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.
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