At a COP 22 Press Conference on Mid-century De-carbonization Strategies held in Marrakech, moderator Alden Meyer, Dir of Strategy and Policy at Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS-USA) introduces the panel speakers and summarizes the key reason for the presentation as being primarily a report back on the Paris Agreement encouragement for all countries to develop Mid-century pathway analyses on carbon, by or before 2020, in order to achieve the ‘temperature limitation goals’ of well below 2 °C (+-1.°C), with Germany currently leading the pack, Canada and Mexico following suit in the short-term and all other countries of the G20 to focus their efforts to meet the 2020 target.
Rachel Cleetus – Lead Economist and Climate Policy Manager at UCS-USA discusses a new analysis on US Power sector de-compensation pathways, released by them today.
She explains that the power sector is the single biggest source of US heat-trapping emissions, currently responsible for 30% of emissions and to get in line with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, it will be critical to cut emissions from this sector.
The findings of the analysis revealed that pollution reductions of carbon dioxide in the US power sector in the order of 90% or more, from 2005 levels by 2050, is technically feasible and economically affordable, but it will require a major transformation of the power sector, i.e. big change of infrastructure and a transition to clean renewable energy sources, etc. It will also mean electrifying the transportation sector as much as possible, inc. electrifying other end-users and industries, which means taking on more electric demand in the power sector. [Rachel talks more about nuclear, transformation investments, stranded infrastructure, etc.)
Lutz Weischer – Team Leader – International Climate Policy for German Watch talks on the German Mid-century plan, as well as Germany’s pending presidency of the G20.
With the German 2050 Climate Plan being approved in cabinet today, and presented by Germany’s Environment Minister at the COP, we, ‘German Watch’ as an environmental (NGO) recognize this document as imperative as it details how Germany intends to fulfill its obligations under the Paris Agreement, resulting from a serious process of stakeholder engagement and of consulting and involving all sector Ministries who will be held accountable for its implementation. [Lutz also covers medium term plan to 2030, Germany’s international responsibility and commitment to international climate finance, etc.]
Li Shuo – Climate and Energy Campaigner for Green Peace, China – gave input on what is happening with long term de-carbonization pathway planning in China.
The long-term strategy that was decided in the Paris Agreement is a useful tool to encourage countries to think and plan ahead, which is particularly important from a developing countries point of view, like a lot of countries, China also has a 5-year domestic planning cycle, which is increasingly showing its limitations in terms of climate change or mitigating CO2 emissions as a lot of the fossil fuel infrastructure, their lifetimes surpass the 5-year traditional domestic planning cycle. [Shuo talks further on China’s reduced coal consumption and about international co-operation and collaboration on the de-carbonization strategy].
Jason Funk – Assoc. Dir on Land Use for the Centre for Carbon Removal – highlights the potential for the global land sector to play a role in helping to mitigate Climate Change through the mid-century. The IPCC 5th Assessment Report delivers an important marker in 2030 for a review as to how that role needs to be activated, an extract from the report indicates that by 2030 we need to be peaking our global emissions and then reducing them, and they cannot exceed 60(Gt) of CO2 per year.
Funk states that the land sector right now is already a substantial source of carbon emissions – a quarter coming primarily from deforestation and also agriculture. Deforestation emissions, fortunately, have been decreasing over time but agricultural emissions have been increasing. So we need to figure out a strategy to address and reduce those emissions in a way that continues to safeguard land rights, livelihoods and food security. [Jason talks further on the carbon sink from global lands sector, other sectors contributing to emission reductions, the role of soil carbon enhancement, etc.)