Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Day 2 Fact Sheet

Instead of droaning on about the highlights of my day I thought I would instead list all the facts I learnt today which I found particularly interesting/scary. As you can imagine most information we hear is pretty scary and depressing to say the least. But here are the facts of my day:
  • The Kyoto Protocol demands to limit the rise in avg global temperature to 2*C but that actually means a catastrophic 7*C for Africa
  • Investment  in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) which is one strategy to combat climate change, has dropped to only $1,5 million, therefore is less money available to deal with the growing issue and very little of it goes into countries in Africa
  • To reach the 2020 reduction targets we need annex 1 countries to commit to the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol
  • The Kyoto protocol is the only reduction mechanism in operation~ so if you dont know what it is you better get reading on the internet
  • By 2020 we need a 40% reduction in emisson targets
  • Durban is the best chance we have before it is too late
  • Countries justify their inaction to climate change by saying it will destabilize their economy but the fact of the matter is INACTION will result in far less jobs then any conversion to a green economy
  • Australia has passed the Carbon Tax has began investing $13 billion in the clean energy sector- all countries should!
I went to an interesting session by GreenPeace on ''Coal-the dirty truth" which was so informative. To summarize the main points very briefly:
  •  the excuse by the energy department that coal is cheap and therefore far out plays renewable energy is a load of rubbish
  • it is not cheaper when looking at all the externalities associated with coal
  • SA is the 6th largest consumer of coal in the world yet we are not even attempting to convert to renewable energy
  • China consumes 45% of the coal in the world but is at least striving to develop renewable energy unlike us!!
  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is not not a solution to combat climate change; CCS is when carbon is captured out of the atmosphere and is stored in the earth kilometres deep.
    • unfortunately it requires 10-40% more energy, vast amount of water and the storage potential of the earth is not known
    • therefore it is not an alternative to reducing emissons

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