Climate action makes economic sense too
There are so many news I’d like to write about that I believe that for today, I’ll propose you some thoughts based on all of them. Please let me know if you like that idea.
I think the most important item on the list is that greenhouse gases emissions are still increasing, and increasing fast at a global level. The World Meteorological Organization published a press release on that very topic.
The Guardian, as usual, got something that sums it up quite brilliantly :
Data show levels of the gas increased more between 2012 and 2013 than during any other year since 1984, possibly due to less uptake of carbon dioxide by ecosystems such as forests, as well as rising CO2 emissions.
The annual greenhouse gas bulletin from the WMO showed that in 2013 concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere were 142% of what they were before the Industrial Revolution.
Associated Press got some details on that very matter :
Spurred chiefly by China, the United States and India, the world spewed far more carbon pollution into the air last year than ever before, scientists announced Sunday as world leaders gather to discuss how to reduce heat-trapping gases.
The world pumped an estimated 39.8 billion tons (36.1 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide into the air last year by burning coal, oil and gas. That is 778 million tons (706 metric tons) or 2.3 percent more than the previous year.
Yeap, that’s right, albeit many countries around the world are moving faster and faster on climate, pollution and how to generate electricity from clean sources, greenhouse gases emissions are still increasing.
We have seen that China is working hard, really hard on curbing its emissions. It will succeed. Whether it will be soon enough remains to be seen. India too is doing a lot on mitigating global warming. I have an upcoming article on that for next week.
But besides these two, many a nation is not doing enough. If a few members of the European Union are at the front of the fight, some others not really doing their best, or even trying to. The United States could do A LOT better as well. But some vested interests are hell-bent on this taking place. So it will be up to the People to make it happen.
Last month’s climate marches will hopefully gather momentum and make it happen.
But not all is dark. Energy efficiency is increasing, so are renewable energy sources. But if these solutions seem to increase at an exponential pace, so are our emissions as we have seen above. Which will win : emissions ? or solutions ?
Climate Progress got something on that, thanks to another report from the International Monetary Fund and an article from Nobel-prize winning Paul Krugman. Here is some extract from a New York Times article he wrote :
I’ve just been reading two new reports on the economics of fighting climate change: a big study by a blue-ribbon international group, the New Climate Economy Project, and a working paper from the International Monetary Fund.
Both claim that strong measures to limit carbon emissions would have hardly any negative effect on economic growth, and might actually lead to faster growth. This may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. These are serious, careful analyses.
But as Joe Romm writes there, or as Fiona Harvey noted in the Guardian, there is nothing new here as he pointing out to such results since at least 2009. Why aren’t we doing anything ? The above mentioned vested interests. And I think we found something with these climate marches. Let’s hope we’ll eventually succeed as :
Natural disasters displaced three times as many people as war last year – even as 2013 was a horrific year for conflict – with 22 million people driven out of their homes by floods, hurricanes and other hazards, a new study has found.
Twice as many people now lose their homes to disaster as in the 1970s, and more people move into harm’s way each year, the study by the Norwegian Refugee Council found.
Image credits : flickr.