Call for a sharper climate policy in Sweden and the World
The Paris Agreement's 2-degree goal will not be achieved by the political commitments of the world's countries. Instead, the forecast points to 3-4 degrees global warming in 2100 if the countries are holding their Paris commitments. Or 4-8 degrees if commitments are not held, so that there will be a delayed or missing global emission reduction. Two degrees are bad enough, which would mean annual heat waves for multi-million cities like Karachi and Calcutta that would make them almost uninhabitable. Each degree's rise in temperature means increasing damage to extreme weather events. Each degree's rise in temperature also means increased desertification and destroyed cultivation opportunities that contribute to increased refugee flows and more armed conflicts. As a result of gradual rising average temperatures, the risk of sudden disruption to the climate systems increases which can lead to accelerating and unstoppable greenhouse effect. Staying under two degrees can be crucial if the planet is to be habitable for future generations.
To have a chance to achieve the 2-degree goal requires tougher and sharper climate policy! Leading climate scientists believe that the rich countries need to make emissions reductions of at least 10 percent each year, starting now with the aim of achieving 100% fossil-free energy systems by 2035. Then, according to the principle of justice, poorer countries can get more time so that they can become fossil free first in 2050.
Sweden and many other rich countries today make too slow emission reductions and instead relies on the hope that new technologies will be realized in the future that can draw huge amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, then store it in empty oil wells on a large scale.
But there is no promising technical solution that could give these so-called
"Negative emissions" of the order of magnitude required. The most widely proposed technology, BECCS, is based on burning biofuels and extract energy while capturing carbon dioxide from the flue gases and storing it in old oil wells. The problem is that huge new plants and huge transport systems for biofuels and liquid carbon dioxide would be needed, on a larger scale than all current coal, oil and gas infrastructure. In addition, plantations for biofuels would have to harvest a total area of 2-3 times India's size year after year for many decades, which is an unreasonable proposal.
And no other technical solution for negative emissions has been presented which could be reasonable in the required scale.
The reasonable way is to redirect all fossil-dependent sectors in society to completely fossil-free technologies at a faster pace, as well as to ensure that the 10% of the world's population who account for 50% of carbon dioxide emissions rapidly reduce their emissions.
We therefore demand that Sweden:
ceases to account for unproven future negative emissions in emissions targets
set 2035 as the goal of 100% fossil-free economy
immediately invest what is required to reach at least 10% reduced CO2 emissions each year
uses more direct means of control (for example, stated fossil-free annual figures in different sectors of the economy) in addition to price mechanisms (eg, increased carbon tax) to reach the targets
does not prioritize GDP growth before the climate targets, but instead prioritizes qualitative welfare measurments such as Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) or Happy Planet Index (HPI)
acts vigorously internationally for this kind of sharper climate policy
takes action to ensure that the 10% of the world population who account for 50% of carbon dioxide emissions will rapidly reduce their emissions
Comment on 22 april 2018 from Isak Stoddard, co-worker of Kevin Anderson at CEMUS / Uppsala university (translated to english):
- "Has read through the call quickly and think it looks good. However, it is important to point out that the 10% annual emission reductions are an absolute minimum and should already have been initiated (by 2017 or by January 2018). For each day / week / month / year as we delay this, the emission reductions will be even more challenging to have a reasonable chance of achieving the 2C commitment. And it is also not a fair distribution of the emission reduction .. but as we see it the only remaining possibility of being able to seriously say that we live up to the Paris agreement's premise of building on the latest climate science (CO2 budgets) and taking into account justice (to a certain extent in any case). Attach a presentation which I held a little while ago for climate and energy strategists on Sweden's county administrative boards. Also encloses a slightly shorter variant from a workshop last week (in English). Maybe it may come to use. All well, Isak "
This version of the call, 2018-05-08, is identical to the provisional version 2018-04-10, except that the claim list has been numbered instead of items, and the comment from Isak Stoddard has been added, and that the paragraph related to Klimatriksdagen has been added.