IPCC delivers blockbuster report–No one important acted

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, published its latest scientific consensus of projections of where climate change will take the planet. The short version: Unless we act quickly and decisively, the results will be even more catastrophic than we predicted earlier. In fact, the impacts of a 2° C increase in average temperatures, the former globally agreed-on target, are now recognized as being so concerning that the IPCC recommends restricting warming to 1.5° C.

Here are selected responses to the report:

‘Incredibly grim’ prognosis on global warming also carries clarion call for global action–Los Angeles Times

Opinion Piece by Ban Ki Moon, former Secretary-General of the UN

In the aftermath of the release of the report, a great silence was heard from the great capitals of the world. In the U.S., where the federal government is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the fossil fuel industry, the unspoken yet fully understood response was “Keep those mines and rigs pumping full-speed! We need to make our earnings projections.”

A key finding about the transport sector:

The transport sector is the least 5 diversified energy end-use sector; the sector consumed 65% of global oil final-energy demand, with 92% of transport final-energy demand consisting of oil products (IEA, 2017a), suggesting major challenges for deep decarbonisation. (p. 2-65.)

TRANSDEF was surprised to find that transport decarbonization is still largely focused on substituting electric vehicles and biofuels, rather than on longer-term land use and behavioral changes, which we see as so crucial for the future:

1.5°C pathways require an acceleration of the mitigation solutions already featured in 2°C-consistent pathways (e.g., more efficient vehicle technologies operating on lower-carbon fuels), as well as those having received lesser attention in most global transport decarbonisation pathways up to now (e.g., mode-shifting and travel demand management). Current-generation, global pathways generally do not include these newer transport sector developments, whereby technological solutions are related to shifts in traveller’s behaviour. (p. 2-67.)

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