- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), recently released a report in Seoul presenting four pathways to explore the possibilities of keeping the temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius.
- In each pathway, the global average temperature is projected to overshoot the 1.5°C target by some amount before returning to that level by the end of this century.
- The four pathways involve Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) in varying amounts and account separately for contributions of fossil fuel and industry, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), and removals in the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU).
Note: Bioenergy: It is renewable energy created from natural, biological sources. Many natural sources, such as plants, animals, and their byproducts, can be valuable resources. Modern technology even makes landfills or waste zones potential bioenergy resources.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS):It is a technology that can capture up to 90% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. It consists of three parts:
(i)capturing the carbon dioxide,
(ii) transporting the carbon dioxide,
(ii)securely storing the carbon dioxide emissions, underground in depleted oil and gas fields or deep saline aquifer formations.
- Following are the different pathways to reduce the global temperature rise to pre-industrial levels:
- Pathway 1:
(i) While living standards rise, especially in the global South a scenario is needed in which social, business, and technological innovations result in lower energy demand up to 2050.
(ii) To achieve this, afforestation is the only CDR option considered; neither fossil fuels with Carbon capture and storage (CCS) nor BECCS are used.
- Pathway 2:
(i) A scenario with a broad focus on sustainability including energy intensity, human development, economic convergence and international cooperation is required.
(ii) Moreover, shifts towards sustainable and healthy consumption patterns, low-carbon technology innovation, and well-managed land systems with limited societal acceptability for BECCS.
- Pathway 3:
(i) A middle-of-the-road scenario is needed in which societal as well as technological development follows historical patterns.
(ii) Emissions reductions are mainly achieved by changing the way in which energy and products are produced, and to a lesser degree by reductions in demand.
- Pathway 4:
(i) A resource and energy-intensive scenario is prevalent in which economic growth and globalization is leading to widespread adoption of greenhouse-gas intensive lifestyles, including high demand for transportation fuels and livestock products.
(ii) Emissions reductions mainly achieved through technological means, making strong use of CDR through the deployment of BECCS is required.
- In 2015 Paris agreement the world agreed to keep temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius and “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. However with the U.S. withdrawing from the accord, the chances of such an ambitious target were significantly weakened.
- IPCC reported that to ensure the livability of planet, global CO2 emissions have to be reduced by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and renewables must provide up to 85% of global electricity by 2050 to meet targets.
- All this would need an annual average investment of around $2.4 trillion in energy systems to move from coal to renewables between 2016 and 2035.