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UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disasteri
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Rosanne Skirble
April 14, 2014 8:58 PM
A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.

UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

Rosanne Skirble
— The world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change, a new United Nations report warns. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin.

The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent release what to do about it.
Co-Chairmen of the IPCC Working Group III Ramon Pichs Madruga and Ottmar Edenhofer pose with Rejendra K. Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC prior to a press conference in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.Co-Chairmen of the IPCC Working Group III Ramon Pichs Madruga and Ottmar Edenhofer pose with Rejendra K. Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC prior to a press conference in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.
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Co-Chairmen of the IPCC Working Group III Ramon Pichs Madruga and Ottmar Edenhofer pose with Rejendra K. Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC prior to a press conference in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.
Co-Chairmen of the IPCC Working Group III Ramon Pichs Madruga and Ottmar Edenhofer pose with Rejendra K. Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC prior to a press conference in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.

Solution: One project at a time

The solution to the climate problem could start with this: a massive solar project in California’s Mohave Desert. It began operation in February and will provide enough power for 140,000 homes, says NRG Energy President David Crane.

“Our generation of leadership can get the ball rolling in fighting against climate change so that the next generation, the people who are in their 20s and 30s today can finish the job, then we will have done the best that we can do to get this going,” he said.
      
That kind of action must be taken on a global scale, and soon, says Rajendra Pachauri, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chairman.

“If we really want to bring about a limitation of temperature increase to no more than two degrees Celsius then this is the message that comes out very clearly from this report,” he said.
 
Emissions must be cut by 40-70 percent

The report says global greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by 40 to 70 percent by mid-century, compared with 2010, to avoid devastating effects from severe weather in a warmer world. But solutions are within reach, says Nathaniel Koehane, who leads international efforts to address climate change for the Environmental Defense Fund

“There are a handful of things - around energy efficiency, renewable energy, reducing deforestation - a handful of things that the world could do and we could help the world turn the corner by 2020 and get on track to reduce emissions enough to keep the climate safe,” he said.

 
Greenpeace activists protest in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.Greenpeace activists protest in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.
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Greenpeace activists protest in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.
Greenpeace activists protest in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.
Renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydropower account for 8.5 percent of the world energy output, and 20 percent if nuclear is added to the mix. However, Koehane says a gulf exists between international efforts and what needs to be done to make the switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy.

“When you look at the stats in the report you see that coal is growing faster than other sources," he said. "So we need to reverse that trend and we do need to rapidly ramp up the sources of renewable power, the share of renewable power.”

Window of opportunity to act

The report finds that the longer the delay in controlling emissions, the greater the cost to public health and the environment. Koehane says voters must tell their governments that climate change matters.

“We need to get on top of it," he said. "But optimism comes from knowing that if we do get that political will and if we can push in that direction, that we have the technologies to get started. We just need everybody to pitch in.”

The report says a window of opportunity remains for the world community to act.  U.N. negotiators are working on a new international agreement to curb global emissions to replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, which expired in 2012.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Felix Alicea-Gonzalez from: US
April 16, 2014 10:47 AM
UN, and raising level of awareness, will not impact those who continue endangering our planet. UN as a tool at the service of those who already produced increments in climate change, will not advance the agenda of at least getting closer to the goal, by 2050. Thinking that by pushing political leaders..., will eventually help, is very naive.
What examples do we have, to sustain that people's movements forced the "money power" to conduct businesses less profitably, to benefit humanity?
Unless armed forces backing people's laws are implemented, "business as usual" will prevail, disgracefully.


by: mememine69 from: toronto
April 15, 2014 12:20 AM
Only science can have certainty, not a mob of determined "believers" that are only serving to divide the environmental movement at the cost of productive and meaningful stewardship.
32 years of 95% certainty is anything you want it to be, except; “settled science”, “certainty”, “believable” or “sustainable” and unless science ends this costly debate soon by finally having certainty, any chance at climate action is impossible and dooms us all to a CO2 crisis for billions of innocent children.
Get ahead of the curve;
*Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.
*Canada killed Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit).


by: John St.Clair from: USA
April 14, 2014 8:08 PM
I have experimented with negative energy generators and found that negative energy cools objects down.
It might be possible to deploy them in order to keep the Earth's temperature in a comfortable range.

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