What the Targets Really Mean | Carbon Intensity

As the Coral Triangle Group calls for 50% emissions reductions by 2015, Bolivia calls for 49% and the Small Island States for a minimum of 45% – both by 2020 … all based on 1990 baselines – check out the commitments that are now being broadly announced.  All designed around different baselines in order to confuse the public.  I give you 5 countries to start – India, China, US, Canada & the EU.

Copenhagen will formalize a great global suicide pact.  We are cutting our own throats so that the banks and fossil fuel corporations can drain the last drop of blood out of humanity and our living Earth.  We are witnessing the ultimate unimaginable evil – the predatory free (of ethics) market economy that is starving more than half the world alive today and future generations to death.

Targets are useless if we don’t have a real way to meet them.  One of the only measures that can save humanity now (in our current monetary system) is a global pollution tax / a straight up carbon tax which – a critical tax which is being kept off of the agenda.  No trading – no selling – no profiting – just taxing carbon to death (literally).

***India announces 24% emission ‘intensity’ reductions from 2005 baseline by 2020:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/02/india-carbon-intensity-target

IN REALITY THIS MEANS:

Percentage relative to 1990: +34.2%

Percentage relative to 1994: +35.5%

Percentage relative to 2000:  -8.6%

Percentage relative to 1005: -24.0%

Percentage relative to 2020: -61.2%

***China announces 40% emission ‘intensity’ reductions from 2005 baseline:

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1929071_1929070_1943912,00.html

IN REALITY THIS MEANS:

Percentage relative to 1990: +38.0%

Percentage relative to 1994: +19.6%

Percentage relative to 2000:  -8.5%

Percentage relative to 2005: -40.0%

Percentage relative to 2020: -58.2%

Carbon intensity

Even if China succeeds in improving carbon intensity, Chinese greenhouse gas emissions will continue to grow for some time, as the Chinese economy itself will be growing. It’s not clear from the pledge how large China’s emissions will be by 2020, but if the country’s economy continues to grow at its typical 8% to 12% annual rate, its carbon emissions could nearly double between now and then.

Cutting carbon intensity was George Bush’s proposal for tackling climate change. The minority Harper government followed.  In Canada, industry and government alike have championed carbon intensity targets instead of placing absolute caps on emissions to mitigate the climate change impact of extracting oil from tar sands. This is simply a greenwash. Carbon intensity targets merely distract from the reality that tar sands should be shut down. Because they are the dirtiest and most destructive energy source on the planet, carbon intensity targets are meaningless in the face of plans to triple production between now and 2020. If Canada was serious about climate change, it would leave the tar sands in the ground and invest in true renewables. Carbon intensity targets are like CCS – Carbon Capture Storage – a greenwash for the public that looks like action but really is to continue business as usual. Increased economic growth and corporate output ensure that any reductions will be subsumed by expanding operations. We all know that nature doesn’t care about emissions intensities. The absolute concentration of greenhouse gases is what will determine the severity of the climate crisis.  Once we pass irreversible tipping points – there is no going back.

***US announces 17% emission reductions from 2005 baseline by 2020:

IN REALITY THIS MEANS:

Percentage relative to 1990: -3.4%

Percentage relative to 1994: -7.8%

Percentage relative to 2000:  -15.7%

Percentage relative to 2005:  -17.%

Percentage relative to 2007: -17.3%

Percentage relative to 2020: -15.7%

***John Schellnhuber, director of the ‘Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research’: Most recently, Schellnhuber told the 4 degrees and beyond conference in Oxford: “Political reality must be grounded in physical reality or it’s completely useless.” Schellnhuber recently briefed U.S. officials from the Barack Obama administration – he states that they chided him that his findings were “not grounded in political reality” and that “the [U.S.] Senate will never agree to this”.  Schellnhuber told them that the U.S. must reduce its emissions from its current 20 tonnes of carbon per person average to zero tonnes per person by 2020 to have an even chance of stabilising the climate around two degrees C.

***Canada announces 20% emission reductions from 2006 baseline by 2020: (I had to use 2005 as a baseline as 2006 stats were not available)

IN REALITY THIS MEANS:

Percentage relative to 1990: -1.2%

Percentage relative to 1994: -6.2%

Percentage relative to 2000:  -18.5%

Percentage relative to 2005:  -17.%

Percentage relative to 2007: -21.7%

Percentage relative to 2020: -23.6%

***EU announces 20% emission reductions from 2006 baseline by 2020:

IN REALITY THIS MEANS:

Percentage relative to 1990: -20.0%

Percentage relative to 1994: -13.7%

Percentage relative to 2000:  -11.8%

Percentage relative to 2005:  -12.8%

Percentage relative to 2007: -11.7%

Percentage relative to 2020: -4.6%

Stern is now the first public leader to state that agriculture worldwide will collapse this century unless drastic action is taken to slash greenhouse gas emissions.  While damages to agriculture are not even recognized as a danger of global climate change in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC, 2007), ‘reasons for concern’, it is clearly the top threat to humanity’s survival.  See recent agriculture report that we are now currently looking at 63–82% cut in US crop yields for temperature alone.

Our political leaders are pretending that we can ‘find a balance’ between the short-term economic interests of the big polluters and maintaining a safe climate that is capable of sustaining life. As former Government adviser on climate change Ross Garnaut said, ‘the failure of this generation to act will ‘haunt humanity until the end of time’. Just as ‘business as usual’ will destroy our future, so will ‘politics as usual’. In the present system global economic growth is directly linked to emissions and yet this suicidal model continues to be promoted growth at all costs.

~ by admin on December 3, 2009.

One Response to “What the Targets Really Mean | Carbon Intensity”

  1. [...] not to support. We will be supporting ALBA, The G77 (see video of Lumumba Di-Aping below) and the Small Island States along with all those most vulnerable and visionary. Make no mistake about it.  True climate [...]

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