The Paris climate agreement is sobering. Even if all nations follow through on their promises, there will be a temperature rise of 4°C, with catastrophic implications on the world’s population. If the global average temperature exceeds 2°C, the tipping points within our climate system will be surpassed.
A few examples:
· The Albedo-effect: As more ice melts at the poles, less white mass is available to reflect sunlight. As a matter of fact, as more dark-coloured ocean is exposed, more sunlight will be absorbed, further heating up the oceans, leading to more ice melting.
· Permafrost areas are starting to melt, releasing the previously captured and stored methane – a greenhouse-gas, which is 23 times more potent than CO2.
· Higher temperatures increase the activity of ground bacteria and increase their chemical decomposition. Organic material decomposes faster resulting in an increasing amount of greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4) in the atmosphere.
The colors show how the average global annual temperature cahnged between 1850 and 2017. climate-lab-book.ac.uk
CO2 emissions until 2050
This will have exponential, potentially irreversible and unpredictable consequences.
· Droughts and floods resulting in crop failure, causing famine.
· Living-space, food and water become scarce, risking the outbreak of wars.
· Hundreds of millions of people are expected to flee from their homes because of the effects of the climate crisis. Europe is currently barely coping with 1 million refugees.
· The world economy would be completely disrupted.
The cheapest, most effective and fool proof method of CO2 absorption is through the planting of trees. In the next 10 years our aim is to plant one trillion tress and stop the deforestation of rain forests. This is the only way to absorb a quarter of human induced CO2 emissions. These trees are a way to buy us enough time to reduce our CO2 emissions to zero. This way we can give our children and grandchildren a livable future.
There is universal recognition that if we are to realize the central aim of the Paris Agreement to keep a global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels this century, we must all go further and faster in delivering climate action before 2020: https://unfccc.int/climate-action/climate-neutral-now
Climate Neutrality is a concept that aims to offset the greenhouse gas emissions, especially those that cannot be reduced further. The amount paid by the entities (companies, individuals, etc.) is equivalent to amount of the emissions (measured generally in tonnes of carbon di oxide) they want to offset, and is then invested in other balancing activities - in this case, plantation of trees.
However, climate neutrality is an option, addition to the steps that the entity has already taken to reduce its carbon footprint.
A standard process can be broadly outlined as:
1. Measuring carbon emissions: Having a track of one’s carbon footprint, identifying source of emissions and the opportunities to reduce it.
2. Avoiding emissions: Efforts must be made to first avoid emissions, by using sustainable lifestyles, effective utilisation of resources and similar methods.
3. Reducing emissions: Steps must be taken to reduce emissions at first place, by deploying energy efficient machines, climate-friendly technologies, effective heating methods, etc
4. Transition to clean source of energy: Converting from conventional energy sources, to renewable and clean energy sources is also equally important.
5. Finally, the offsetting of remaining unavoidable CO2 emissions: Carbon-offsetting should be deployed only when there are remaining carbon emissions that cannot be reduced further … Trees give us a valuable time joker to reduce our emissions!