Sunday, July 14, 2019

Public Clean Energy R&D Is Overlooked and Underfunded.

The climate change policy with the most potential is the most neglected.

Funding innovation to develop cheaper clean energy technology will help all countries reduce their emissions. (Credit: Consumers Energy, via Flickr) Click to Enlarge.
The leading international body of climate change researchers released a major report [last] Sunday night on the impacts of global warming and what it would take to cap rising temperatures at 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels — a goal that’s exceedingly difficult, but not impossible.

The report is from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international consortium of hundreds of climate researchers convened by the United Nations.  Authors presented their findings in Incheon, South Korea after a week of discussion.

Why examine the prospects for limiting global warming to 1.5°C?  Because under the Paris agreement, countries agreed that the goal should be to limit warming to below 2°C by 2100, with a nice-to-have target of capping warming at 1.5°C.

The report finds that it would take a massive global effort, far more aggressive than any we’ve seen to date, to keep warming in line with 1.5°C.  Without such effort, we will continue at our current trajectory toward 3°C of warming.  What’s more, even if we hit the 1.5°C goal, the planet will still face massive, devastating changes.  So it’s pretty grim.

But the report is also a thunderous call to action, laying out what tools we have at our disposal (we have plenty) to mitigate global warming and to accelerate the turn toward cleaner energy.   Let’s walk through the basics.

Read more at Public Clean Energy R&D Is Overlooked and Underfunded.

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