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Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Halt all carbon emissions by 2050

Halt all carbon emissions by 2050

In order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change, world
carbon emissions will have to drop to near zero by 2050 and go

after that, the Worldwatch Institute reported on Tuesday. The finding will
have far reaching repercussions

Limiting carbon emissions aims to keep global mean temperature from
rising more than 2 degrees C over what it was before the Industrial
Revolution. The global warming needs to be reduced from peak levels
to 1 degree Celsius, as fast as possible. The Global mean temperature has
already risen by 0.8 C since 1850. Hence drastic cuts in emissions of
climate-warming carbon dioxide are needed.

The global greenhouse gas emissions would need to hit the peak by
2020 and drop 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and keep
dropping after that. The carbon dioxide emissions would have
to "go negative," with more being absorbed than emitted, in the
second half of this century.

The burden of cutting greenhouse emissions should fall more
heavily on industrialised countries than the developing ones,
with industrialized nations reducing emissions by 90 percent by
2050, allowing developing nations to let their economies grow
and develop new technologies that will ultimately reduce
climate-warming gases.

2009: a pivotal year?
Even with these dramatic changes, the world may face an
additional rise of nearly 1 degree C because the impact of past
greenhouse emissions hasn't yet been felt on surface temperatures,
the report said. The year 2009 could be pivotal in the movement
against climate change.

The 2009 is a deadline for a global agreement to craft a successor
pact to the carbon-capping Kyoto Protocol. That is set to happen in
December at a meeting in Copenhagen. The Copenhagen meeting
could put in place a new "financial architecture" that discourages
greenhouse emissions and rewards actions that take these emissions
out of the atmosphere. This could take the form of a cap-and-trade
system or a carbon tax, and could also include "the best terms of
trade, investment and credit" for countries that make the transition
to a low-carbon economy.

We still have some precious time to safely manage human-induced
climate change. What is at stake is not just nature as we have always
known it but quite possibly the survival of our civilization.

The strongest message from State of the World 2009 is this: "If
the world does not take action early and in adequate measure, the
impacts of climate change could prove extremely harmful and
overwhelm our capacity to adapt." The Washington-based Worldwatch
Institute is an independent research organization.

Source: Worldwatch, 14 Jan 2009