IPCC delivers blockbuster report–No one important acted

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, published its latest scientific consensus [no longer available–see the 2021 report] 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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