The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that without action global greenhouse gas emissions will be 25% to 90% above current levels by 2030, with the highest growth levels in the transport sector. But it says that action can be taken that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to required levels, and it will cost less than 3% of GDP.
The third and final part of the IPCC’s fourth climate change assessment.report estimates that global transport has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 3.2 billion tonnes (CO2 equivalent) by 2030, but warns against unconventional oil sources that “increase upstream carbon emissions” and says the “economic and market potentials of hydrogen vehicles remain uncertain.”
The report calls for a broader approach to transport, highlighting that it is “important to view GHG emissions reductions in conjunction with air pollution, congestion and energy security (oil import) problems. Therefore solutions have to try to optimise the transportation problems as a whole and not just greenhouse gas emissions.”
The report also criticised the two bodies charged with tackling emissions from aviation and shipping (Icao and IMO) for failing to devise a policy framework.
The IPCC says that unless there is a major shift away from current patterns of energy use, transport energy and carbon emissions will be about 80% above 2002 levels by 2030.
In the first part of the assessment report, published in February, the IPCC said global warming was “unequivocal” and human-induced. Last month the second report detailed how global warming is affecting the environment and human existence.
Despite unprecedented scientific consensus, there was controversy over the final wording. Karl-Heinz Florenz, former chair of the Parliament’s environment committee, accused government officials of “falsifying reality” and “trying to use political influence to talk down scientific fact.”
This news story is taken from the May 2007 edition of T&E Bulletin.