Experts say: reducing the carbon footprint must involve not only industry, but also individual consumers
Achieving zero emissions is impossible without reducing the carbon footprint in the consumer sector, said Rae Kwon Chung, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the Global Energy Prize International Prize International Award Committee Chairman. He was commenting on the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

   “The consumption model of the world’s wealthiest residents needs to undergo change. The top 10 % of the richest are responsible for 36-45 % of emissions, whereas the bottom 10 % of the poorest – only 3-5%,” he said.

Moreover, the top 1 % of the wealthiest are  responsible for 50 % of emissions in aviation. That is why that in order to achieve carbon neutrality, emissions must be reduced in the consumer sector.”

   The IPCC report presents five scenarios of global warming.

    In the first scenario (SSP1-1.9), from 2021 to 2040,, the average temperature of the earth’s surface will rise 1.5 degrees Celsius relative to the pre-industrial era. The rise from 2041-2060 will be 1.6 degrees and from 2081-2100 1.4 degrees.

     The second (SSP1-2.6) third, (SSP2-4.5) and fourth (SSP3-7.0) scenarios, are also based on the hypothesis that global warming over 2021-2040 will amount to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

   The discrepancy lies in the assessment of 2041-2060 (1.7, 2.0 and 2.1 degrees respectively) and of 2081-2100 (1.8, 2.7 and 3.6 degrees).

    Lastly, under the fifth scenario (SSP5-8.5) from 2021-2040 we will see a rise of 1.6 degrees, with 2.4 degrees over 2041-2060 and 4.4 degrees over 2081-2100.

    “I believe, at this stage, we are likely to be on the scenario path of SSP 2 – 4.5. To move to SSP1- 2.6 will require significantly more ambitious commitments from all countries and in an accelerated manner,” said Leena Srivastava, Deputy Direvyor General, Science, at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).snd a member of the Global Energy International Prize Committee.

   Rae Kwon Ching expressed a broadly similar position,

     – He believes that Europe’s successes in reducing emissions are linked to a great extent to the transfer of industrial strength to Asia. This also led to a “leak” of carbon from developed to developing countries whose economies depend greatly on industries with heavy energy inputs, like steel and cement production.

    – At the same time, the developed world is a large consumer of industrial production from developing countries. By importing goods that are linked to a high carbon footprint, Europe and North America are making an indirect contribution to increased emissions from Asia. And a solution must be found in the changed model of consumption In developed countries as mentioned earlier.

    – To achieve zero emissions by 2050, it is vital to decarbonise heavy industry and to minimise the carbon footprint linked to the use of fossil fuel, either through the technology of carbon capture and storage or through production of blue hydrogen.

    “A blindfolded push for Net Zero 2050 without practical options for transition towards cleaner energy is doomed to fail,” Chung said. 


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August 2021