Almost 75 percent of 184 Paris Agreement pledges were judged insufficient to slow climate change
Only 28 European Union nations and 7 others will reduce emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030
China & India, top emitters, will reduce emissions intensity, but their emissions will increase
U.S., second top emitter, has reversed key national policies to combat climate change
Almost 70 percent of the pledges rely on funding from wealthy nations for their implementation
Burning fossil fuels which are triggering climate change comes at a giant price tag which the U.S. economy cannot afford or sustain.
In the last decade, the annual average economic losses and damage from weather events intensify by climate change and health costs due to burning fossil fuels are about $240 billion— equal about forty percent of the current growth of the U.S. economy.
In the next decade, these costs are projected to reach at least $360 billion annually, equal to an estimated 55 percent of the U.S. growth.
Climate action outweighs the escalating economic losses and costs.
The evidence is undeniable. Recent human-induced extreme weather events are a continuation of a three decades trend of rapidly increasing numbers intensities and costs of severe storms, hurricanes, flooding, droughts and wildfires.
1. Economic losses from extreme weather events doubled in the last decade, compared to the 1990s.
2. In August and September 2017, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused nearly $300 billion in losses and damage. That is double the $145 billion cost of all hurricanes in the last decade.
The problem: 80% of the primary energy produced and used in the US comes from coal, oil and natural gas –all fossil fuels. As a result, 82% of the US greenhouse gas emissions are solely from CO2 from fossil fuel burning. CO2 emissions are primarily driving the observed changes in climate.
Alternatively, addressing this climate change problem can ensure economic growth and create jobs, including:
• At least doubling renewable energy, particularly solar and wind.
• Continue to promote safe nuclear power.
• Expand carbon capture and storage technologies to continue using fossil fuels responsibly.
• Explore and continue to test new technologies.
Using energy more efficiently will also be critical.
Read the press release here.
1. Global temperature could reach the 2ºC threshold by 2050 or earlier.
2. A doubling of effort tripling of effort is required to stay below 2ºC.
3. Current pledges are inadequate and will not halt climate change. They will only the slow the rate of change if implemented.
4. 135 of the Paris country pledges are conditional in part or entirely and are based on receiving funding from the donor countries.
5. The Paris pledges are voluntary and non-biding. Their implementation depends on policies and measures to be approved and adopted at the country level by each country.
6. Many of the technology options such as CCS are expensive and have not been tested at large scale. There are risks and more research is needed.
7. The first requirement: A drastic change in the way the world produces and uses energy.
Read the press release here.