Climate change: 1.5°C is closer than we imagine | RenewEconomy

Climate change: 1.5°C is closer than we imagine

Global warming of 1.5°C is imminent, likely in just a decade from now. That’s the stunning conclusion to be drawn from a number of recent studies.

Caption: Projected temperature rises with IPO in positive mode (red) and negative mode (blue) (Henley and King, 2017)

Global warming of 1.5°C is imminent, likely in just a decade from now. That’s the stunning conclusion to be drawn from a number of recent studies.

So how does that square with the 2015 Paris Agreement’s goal of “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C” (above a late-nineteenth-century baseline)?

It doesn’t.

The Paris text was a political fix in which grand words masked inadequate deeds. The voluntary national emission reduction commitments since Paris now put the world on a path of 3.4°C of warming by 2100, and more than 5°C if high-end risks including carbon-cycle feedbacks are taken into account.

The Paris outcome is a path of emissions continuing to rise for another fifteen years, when it was already clear that “if the 1.5°C limit should not be breached in any given year, the budget  already overspent today ”.

Two years ago, Prof. Michael E. Mann noted: “And what about 1.5°C stabilisation? We’re already overdrawn.”

In fact, the emission scenarios associated with the Paris goal shows that the temperature will “overshoot” the 1.5°C target by up to half a degree, before cooling back to it by the end of this century.

Those scenarios rely unduly on unproven Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology, because the Paris Agreement does not encompass the steep emissions reductions that are required right now.

Average global warming is now 1.1°C above the late nineteenth century, and the rate of warming is likely to accelerate due to record levels of greenhouse gas emissions, and because efforts to clean up some of the world’s dirtiest power plants is reducing the emission of aerosols (mainly sulphates) which have a very short-term cooling impact.

So now, in 2018, the benchmark of 1.5°C of warming is just a decade away or even less, according to multiple lines of evidence from climate researchers:

HENLEY and KING: In 2017 Melbourne researchers Ben Henley and Andrew King published Trajectories toward the 1.5°C Paris target: Modulation by the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation on the impact of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) on future warming, (The IPO is characterized by sea surface temperature fluctuations and sea level pressure changes in the north and south Pacific Ocean that occur on a 15-30 year cycle.

In the IPO’s positive phase, surface temperatures are warmer due to the transfer of ocean heat to the atmosphere. The IPO has been in a negative phase since 1999 but recent predictions suggest that it is now moving to a positive phase.)

The authors found that “in the absence of external cooling influences, such as volcanic eruptions, the midpoint of the spread of temperature projections exceeds the 1.5°C target before 2029 , based on temperatures relative to 1850–1900”.

In more detail,”a transition to the positive phase of the IPO would lead to a projected exceedance of the target centered around 2026 ”, and “if the Pacific Ocean remains in its negative decadal phase, the target will be reached around 5 years later, in 2031 ”.

Caption: Projected temperature rises with IPO in positive mode (red) and negative mode (blue) (Henley and King, 2017)

JACOB et al: A set of four future emission scenarios, known as Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) have been used since 2013 as a guide for climate research and modelling.

The four pathways, known as RCPs 2.6, 4.5, 6 and 8.5, are based on the total energy imbalance in the energy system by 2100. RCP8.5 is the highest, and is the current emissions path.

In Climate Impacts in Europe Under +1.5°C Global Warming, released this year, Daniela Jacob and her co researchers found that the world is likely to pass the +1.5°C threshold around 2026 for RCP8.5, and “for the intermediate RCP4.5 pathway the central estimates lie in the relatively narrow window around 2030 .

In all likelihood, this means that a +1.5°C world is imminent.”

KONG AND WANG: In a study of projected permafrost change, Responses and changes in the permafrost and snow water equivalent in the Northern Hemisphere under a scenario of 1.5 °C warming, researchers Ying Kong and Cheng-Hai Wang use a multi-model ensemble mean from 17 global climate models, with results showing that the threshold of 1.5°C warming will be reached in 2027, 2026, and 2023 under RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP8.5, respectively.

On the present, high-emissions RCP8.5 path, the estimated permafrost area will be reduced by 25.55% or 4.15 million square kilometres.

XU and RAMANTHAN: A recent study by Yangyang Xu and Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Well below 2 °C: Mitigation strategies for avoiding dangerous to catastrophic climate changes, looked at the high-end or “fat-tail” risks of climate change, in an analysis of the existential risks in a warming world.

One of two baseline scenarios used, named Baseline-Fast, assumed an 80% reduction in fossil fuel energy intensity by 2100 compared to 2010 energy intensity.

In this scenario, the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide had reached 437 parts per million (ppm) by 2030 and the warming was 1.6°C, suggesting that the 1.5°C would be exceed around 2028 . The study is discussed in more detail here.

ROGELJ et al: In Scenarios towards limiting global mean temperature increase below 1.5C, Joeri Rogelj and co-researchers plot future emissions and warming based on five distinct “Shared Socioeconomic Pathways” (SSPs).

These “present five possible future worlds that differ in their population, economic growth, energy demand, equality and other factors”, according to CarbonBrief.

The fourth and fifth paths are the world we now live in: SSP4 is a world of “high inequality”, whilst SSP5 is a world of “rapid economic growth” and “energy intensive lifestyles”. If we look at these paths charted against projected temperatures, then SSP5 exceeds 1.5°C in 2029 and SSP4 by 2031.

Projected global mean temperature for five Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (CarbonBrief)

SCHURER et al: In Interpretations of the Paris climate target, Andrew Schurer and colleagues demonstrated that the IPCC uses a

definition of global mean surface temperature which underestimates the amount of warming over the pre-industrial level. The underestimation is around 0.3°C, and a higher figure includes the effect of calculating warming for total global coverage rather than for the coverage for which observations are

available, and warming from a true pre-industrial, instead of a late-nineteenth century, baseline. If their finding were applied, warming would now be 1.3°C or more, and hitting the 1.5°C benchmark just half a decade away.

CONSEQUENCES: In their 2017 paper on catastrophic climate risks, Xu and Ramanathan defined 1.5°C as a benchmark for “dangerous” climate change, compared to the convention policy-making mark of 2°C.

But even this lower mark may be too optimistic, given the impacts we have seen at both poles in the last decade.

In any case, it contemplating the imminent reality of the 1.5°C benchmark, it is important to consider what is at stake:

  •  In another decade and by 1.5°C, we may well have witnessed an Arctic free of summer sea ice, a circumstance that just two decades ago was not expected to occur for another hundred years. The consequences would be devastating.
  •  In 2012, then NASA climate science chief James Hansen told Bloomberg that: “Our greatest concern is that loss of Arctic sea ice creates a grave threat of passing two other tipping points – the potential instability of the Greenland ice sheet and methane hydrates… These latter two tipping points would have consequences that are practically irreversible on time scales of relevance to humanity.” One highly-regarded research paper in 2012 estimated that “the warming threshold leading to a monostable, essentially ice-free state is in the range of 0.8–3.2°C, with a best estimate of 1.6°C” for the Greenland ice sheet.
  •  In 2015, researchers looked at the damage to system elements — including water security, staple crops land, coral reefs, vegetation and UNESCO World Heritage sites — as the temperature increases. They found all the damage from climate change to vulnerable categories like coral reefs, freshwater availability and plant life could happen before 2°C warming is reached, and much of it before 1.5°C warming.
  •  In 2009, Australian scientists contributed to an important research paper which found that preserving more than 10% of coral reefs worldwide would require limiting warming to below 1.5°C. Recent research found that the surge in ocean warming around the Great Barrier Reef in 2016, which led to the loss of half the reef, has a 31% probability of occuring in any year at just the current level of warming. In other words, severe bleaching and coral loss is likely on average every 3–4 years, whereas corals take 10–15 years to recover from such events.
  •  At 1.5°C, the loss of permafrost area is estimated to be four million square kilometres, and there is evidence that a 1.5oC global rise in temperature compared to the pre-industrial level is enough to start a general permafrost melt.
  •  The frequency of extreme El Nino events is likely to double by 1.5°C of warming.
  • At 1.5°C, it is very likely that conclusions first aired in 2014 –– that sections of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet have already passed their tippings point for a multi-metre sea-level rise –– will have been confirmed. Four years ago scientists found that “the retreat of ice in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica was unstoppable, with major consequences – it will mean that sea levels will rise 1 metre worldwide… Its disappearance will likely trigger the collapse of the rest of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which comes with a sea-level rise of between 3–5 metres. Such an event will displace millions of people worldwide.” Leading cryosphere researcher Eric Rignot muses: “You look at West Antarctica and you think: How come it’s still there?
  •  By 1.5°C, a sea-level rise of many metres, and perhaps tens of metres will have been locked into the system. In past climates, carbon dioxide levels of around 400 ppm (which we exceed three years ago) have been associated with sea levels around 25 metres above the present. And six years ago, Prof. Kenneth G. Miller notes that “the natural state of the Earth with present carbon dioxide levels is one with sea levels about 20 meters higher than at present”.

Clearly, as James Hansen and co-authors wrote last year, “the world has overshot the appropriate target for global temperature”.

They noted a danger of 1.5°C or 2°C targets is that they are far above the Holocene temperature range and if such temperature levels are allowed to long exist they will spur “slow” amplifying feedbacks which have potential to run out of humanity’s control, so “limiting the period and magnitude of temperature excursion above the Holocene range is crucial to avoid strong stimulation of slow feedbacks”.

And in all this evidence, what worries me most?

It is my experience that with few exceptions neither climate policy-makers nor climate action advocates have a reasonable understanding of the imminence of 1.5°C and its consequences.

David Spratt is Research Director for Breakthrough National centre for Climate Restoration,

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  1. john 3 years ago

    There is absolutely zero of keeping Global Warming at 1.5C this not going to happen.
    The world will go to at least 2.5c in my humble opinion in the next 50 years.
    The ramifications to you.
    Sea level rise more intense Tropical Cyclones and more variable climate.
    You will deliver this to your children.

    Perhaps that will make sense of this and that was 3 years ago.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      Some of our Pacific Island cousins are alreday living the sea level rise. Island nations like Tuvalu, he Marshall Islands, Kiribati are starting to go under.

      • john 3 years ago

        Yes I know sad story happening in your and my life.

  2. Allan Barr 3 years ago

    Before you write another article about temps you might want to get current.

    • David Spratt 3 years ago

      The NASA dataset is here:
      Those figures show the following, over late 19th century;
      2014 -1.01C
      2015 – 1.12C
      2016 – 1.23C
      2017 – 1.15C
      That includes a strong El Nino period. Former NASA science chief James Hansen says that the warming trend is now 1.1C, which is the figure I used in the article. Cherry picking a couple of warmer El Nino years is not a trend.

      • Allan Barr 3 years ago

        Nasa and NOAA datasets are kinda deceptive and certainly underestimate the real anthropogenic warming. After all the industrial revolution with its anthropogenic carbon emissions started back in 1750. Hopefully you took my post for what it was meant to be, an appeal to use more accurate datasets.

      • Allan Barr 3 years ago

        It was a really well written article and I enjoyed reading it David, thanks for putting in the time to write it.

  3. RobertO 3 years ago

    Hi All as a kid in 1961 I went to the Franz Josef Glacier. If my memory is correct the road to the base of the Glacier had just been built and there was a about a 2 meter wide footpath with 2 steel rails as hand hold. As a kid I could touch the ice (some had fallen off the face of the glacier) and at the same time holding on to the rails. It now some 2.5 Km away from that rail, it higher up the mountain so where has all that water gone (how much heat did it absorb to melt the ice). Melting ice takes heat and when we have done all low lying one’s we may find an inversion layer traps more heat. And we still have morons (Monash Group are a prime example) whom think that pouring more heat and CO2 into the atmosphere or biosphere has no effects on either.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      Most of the worlds major glaciers are in retreat and have been for a while now. The ABC Foreign Correspondent crew recently screened the result of their most recent visit to Green land some 10 years after their original visit. Greenland has visibly changed, the ice is melting, they have bushfires in summer. Its gonna get ugly for the world from now on.

  4. Joe 3 years ago

    Don’t you love it how the nightly TV news broadcasts always have the lead story to do with some sort of human horror like murder or a motor vehicle crash with death and destruction. But not one jot about climate change and what is coming with that. The nightly news should be having lead stories each night like the above article from David Spratt. I am amazed that the young people today are not mobilizing en mass and marching in the streets demanding action to deal with ‘The Climate Emergency’. Are the youth too self immersed in their screens to think and act for their own future survival.

    • john 3 years ago

      Not going to do that sorry no news on your Iphone about climate stuff its all about selling you some rubbish

    • Jared 3 years ago

      They will air pretty much anything that will put eyeballs on the screen. None of the news stations have any sort of moral compass whatsoever, especially CNN. Take the Florida shooting for example. The number of murders by rifle in the US each year is around 300 compared to 6-7K by handgun. Yet all they talk about is the flashing murder scene where kids where killed, and make a killing off the exploitation of teens about gun control. It’s a total sham for money.

  5. Mark Klement 3 years ago

    Meanwhile all the anglo-saxon countries are worried about the demonisation of coal and oil pipelines. But don’t worry, there is a war brewing, either against Russia or Iran, that will take our minds off all the freak weather events to focus on corporate media defined terrorism.

    • Jared 3 years ago

      Oh you mean like very few hurricanes in the past 10 years, historically speaking.

      • Mark Klement 3 years ago

        Exactly, plus the odd unprecendented wildfire and a few shocking floods here and there. The Russians and Iranians and any other disobedient nation for that matter however, that would be different for our corporate media. Something tangible there you know.

        • Jared 3 years ago

          So in other words, all anecdotal items that support whatever argument you are pushing, while ignoring all evidence to the contrary. Sounds objective to me.

          • Mark Klement 3 years ago

            I think you are misunderstanding me. I am writing with extreme sarcasm. The corporate media are not reporting climate change with any sense of urgency. It should be front and center every day. On the other hand they are beating the drums of war against Iran and Russia, two countries who for all their faults are not a danger to the world at all. In fact Iran has complied with everything the west has demanded but they dare to speak up against the US empire and so are labeled as terrorists. Just look at the way the US has treated the tiny country of Cuba for example.

            Unfortunately for us and our kids the future is grim. We will not have a habitat suitable for humans in the very near future. The first major drought across the northern hemisphere and resulting crop failures will mean massive food shortages and the collapse of civilisation as we know it. At that point the billionaire club might finally get it.

          • james blatchford 3 years ago

            Don’t worry. Billionaires can survive a long time on caviar and ice wine.

  6. RobertO 3 years ago

    Hi All, to cook a crayfish you put the crayfish in cold water and heat. Death occurs without raising any fears within the crayfish. If you drop a crayfish into hot water the crayfish will jump out of the pot immediately. I wonder if that what we are doing to space ship earth, slowly overloading the heat load without realising it until it in a feedback loop that we cannot stop (one good point about melting ice is that more water can absorb more heat and more CO2, never mind the flooding that may occur). A rise of 2 meter put places on the coastline in Australia at risk of flooding and then add storm surges. Does warmer sea water mean that Tropical Cyclones will move southwards towards Sydney?

    • Joe 3 years ago

      Whilst in Sydney we don’t get the direct hits of Cyclones ( not yet anyway ) we do get East Coast Lows which can pack quite a punch just like we saw in June 2016. There was plenty of coastal impact. Can’t imagine Sydneysiders ‘enjoying’ the idea of living with Tropical Cyclones each year.

  7. Farmer Dave 3 years ago

    Thank you, David. I admire your courage in trawling through these studies; they would provoke too much fear in me. Anyone who needs convincing that we are in a climate emergency should read your article.

  8. Unbeliever 3 years ago

    Preindustrial times is not a temperature. So what global average temperature number are ((They)) going to to keep the climate 2 within 1.5C rise exactly?
    It’s a false premise.

    • John Saint-Smith 3 years ago

      I don’t believe you read English very well. If you re-read the statement, you may find it was referring to a ‘temperature level’ not a preindustrial ‘time’. Actually, if you could be bothered, you could easily discover the average global temperature in degrees C. Just Google it! Most of us who read this stuff know the answer, so unlike you, we don’t have to pretend we’re being clever. Your slip is showing.

      • Unbeliever 3 years ago

        The notion that there is an ideal earth temperature is ludicrous. It does not exist or you would have just given me the number instead of your lazy response to “Google it”. And believe me I have. Even Google does not know what temperature the earth should be!
        We’ve had over 4 billion years of preindustrial times so pick which time frame temperature we are supposed to hold the earths temperature within 1.5C Celsius. And what temperature is that exactly. It is the most absurd premise I have ever heard.

        • Desertphile 3 years ago

          “The notion that there is an ideal earth temperature is ludicrous.”

          Yes: that is why no scientists claim there is such a thing. Sheeeish. Look up “straw man argument fallacy.”

          • Unbeliever 3 years ago

            Except for the scientists who met at the Paris…… quoted in this article: ” 2015 Paris Agreement’s goal of “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C” (above a late-nineteenth-century baseline)?
            Than just what is that “pre-industrial level” or “nineteenth-century baseline” ideal temperature/s numbers are they referring to exactly? Or is it like you say…..there is no temperature they are trying to hold the earth to? I agree….it’s a hoax and a it’s THEIR false premise…not mine!

          • james blatchford 3 years ago

            Maybe the Earth’s temperatures should be held to it’s own cycles?…rather than dialed-up by Homo Erectus? What do you think? Earth natural cycles? Or Johnny 4-wheeler at the thermostat?

          • Unbeliever 3 years ago

            How do you “hold” the earth to its “own” cycles? And who decides what natural is? If I plant a tree, is it natural? Would you rather have politicians and mad scientists at the thermostat “holding” the earths temperature indefinitely at some fictitious temperature decided by a committee? Government regulated climate! Is that what you would call: “natural cycles”?
            I believe the earth has been doing fine on its own for the last 4 billion years at regulating it’s “own” climate. It doesn’t need our help.

          • james blatchford 3 years ago

            Right. It doesn’t need our help. But it’s getting it.

          • Unbeliever 3 years ago

            Well than, I am glad you believe we are helping the planet.

          • james blatchford 3 years ago

            Yup….like carpenter ants to a foundation.

        • John Saint-Smith 3 years ago

          I concur with Desertphile, your original confusing comment concerned the actual number of degrees above absolute zero that the planet happened to be averaging prior to the Industrial revolution. A least that is clearly how I interpreted the statement. You actually wrote ‘Preindustrial TIMES is not a temperature. Now you claim that you were talking about some fictional ‘ideal’ temperature. That word only appears in your response. Forgive me for not knowing what you were attempting to say, your skills in that department are as poor as your understanding of science in general. I didn’t suggest that you should google the ‘ideal’ temperature. If I’d intended that you try to find your straw man’ ideal temperature I would have suggested that you google that.
          When you suggest that “we’ve had 4 billion years of preindustrial times”, I would suggest that ‘we’ humans have only been around for about a million years give or take 50%. We are adapted by nature to the conditions that have existed during that time, so we have moved in response to natural climate change throughout that time, migrating across the tropical regions during the glacial periods and into Northern Europe and America only within the last 10,000 years. In the last 20,000 years the average global temperature has changed by about 6 degrees Celsius from about 8 degrees to about 14. That is an average rate of change of less than 0.5 degrees per thousand years. For the last 10,000 years, the average rate of change has fallen to just 0.1 degree per thousand years between 14 and 13.4 in the ‘Little Ice Age’, prior to the beginning of the industrial era. Those are the conditions in which our present civilisation has thrived. Clearly that is the temperature range we are able to cope with in terms of agriculture, and therefore is ecologically and politically important to our present and future. It’s not ‘ideal’ but it is what we are used to, and technically as well as physiologically adapted to. To rapidly change that temperature by 3-6 degrees in a few hundred years is far more dangerous than any ‘absolute’ temperature of the earth.

          Whatever the temperature averaged during the age of dinosaurs was ‘tolerable’ for the dinosaurs or the first archeobacteria, but it is completely irrelevant to us .

          • Unbeliever 3 years ago

            Let me make it really simple for you. If you are the authority, and you claim we must hold the earths avereage global temperature to a number or all hell will break loose, you better damn well know what that number is. So what is it? 1.5C + X =?

          • John Saint-Smith 3 years ago

            Oh dear, you are upset aren’t you. You even descend to ad hominen attacks. I did not claim to be ‘the’ authority, or anything more than a student of climatology. I offer only the conclusions of real climate scientists’ investigations.

            I admit I was verbose, in an attempt to give you the ‘answer in context’ but surely even you could have found the number for the immediate pre-industrial global temperature in my response above? It was clearly stated as approximately 14 degrees Celsius, that is 287 kelvin. So, X = 14 ok? I assume that you can do the rest? But there is a major mistake in your maths. You assume that the increase is limited to 1.5 degrees. That it total BS. If you’ve actually read anything about the Paris agreement, you’d know that 1.5 is the lowest increase possible. The whole point is, that were we able to limit warming to just 1.5 degrees, ‘all Hell would NOT break loose!’.

            The trouble is, to hold global warming to an average 1.5 degrees would require an immediate and total cessation of all fossil fuel burning AND, the widespread use of sequestration of existing CO2 from the atmosphere! That is never going to happen. The best we can hope for is 2-3 degrees. But because we are likely to be causing feedbacks with the release of vast amounts of natural methane and CO2 (double the amount in the atmosphere!) currently held in rapidly melting permafrost and deep ocean clathrates, as well as a decrease in the earth’s albedo. That will result in increased thermal absorption in the open Arctic ocean, further accelerating the loss of permanent ice cover, and so on. As a result, there is a clear and present danger of vastly exceeding even 8 -10 degrees of warming before the climate re-stabilizes. THAT will be Hell on Earth.

            The hottest the earth has been in the last 60 million years is about 20 C (up 6 -7 degrees from current temperatures), during the natural CO2 induced Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum, when tropical conditions prevailed as far north as Baffin Island. Given that solar output has increased somewhat since then, the consequences of a much more rapid addition of even more CO2 to the atmosphere today will have dire consequences in the immediate future. But as you would know, even the PETM passed, as the CO2 was gradually reabsorbed, temperatures fell to more comfortable levels over a period of several hundred thousand years. Do you really think that 10 billion humans will cope with those conditions?

          • Unbeliever 3 years ago

            I did not attack you and I did not say you were the authority. And it’s not my math. It is the explainers of climate people’s math. Regardless, you nailed it. 14C is their number. That is their version of earths ideal average temperature that ((they)) are attempting to hold the earths temperature to. Like I said, completely absurd. Now imagine if they were actually able to achieve that fantasy. That would be truly alarming. When has the earth ever maintained and average temperature? The facts are: No one knows what temperature the earth is supposed to be and, no one can’t predict the future.
            All of your other comments are based on highly unlikely projections based on implausible chains of inference.

          • John Saint-Smith 3 years ago

            Your ignorance is beyond my powers to penetrate. That is the temperature that existed, with little variation for 10,000 years prior to the industrial revolution, rising in line with increasing CO2 emissions. It is the temperature at which the agricultural system and the population distributions on the earth as we know it took place. When that temperature no longer is maintained, the planet will not be habitable by humans in our present political and technological culture.

            What you seem incapable of grasping is that any significant deviation from that temperature within a single century will result in the destruction of the greater part of the human population.

            Bye, now and forever.

          • Unbeliever 3 years ago

            “That (14C) is the temperature that existed, with little variation for 10,000 years”. Is so absurd it speaks for itself.
            ”When that (14C)/temperature no longer is maintained, the planet will not be habitable by humans in our present political and technological culture.” You are so arrogant that you think you know what temperature the earth is supposed to be.
            “any significant deviation from that (14C) temperature within a single century will result in the destruction of the greater part of the human population. And now, you can predict the future too.
            Just more highly unlikely projections combined into implausible chains of inference.

  9. David Jones 3 years ago

    According to recent articles, it seems that Shell was well aware of Climate Change and it’s direct link to their product before the 21st century. Assuming this is true and considering the kind of severe outcomes that are now within the realm of possibilities, I think it’s time to consider shifting litigation and government actions in a more specific direction. They are correct that we need energy and instead of just asking for payment for potential damage mitigation, I think the goal should be to require that these companies shift a percentage of their revenue towards oil alternatives. This percentage should be set now and be upwards adjustable, i.e. require them to increase it on an annual basis. I would say, start at 3.3% of revenue and go from there in 3.3% yearly steps. That means that by 2050, all their revenue should be derived from alternative energy sources and none from oil, in effect making their product energy rather than oil. Governments should adopt such laws for new oil companies/entities as well, not just existing ones. If a percentage of their revenue is to remain in oil due to industry material restrictions even after 2050, then carbon capture should be a prerequisite for this production. In fact, a percentage of their research should probably be in this field right now since certain industrial processes are dependent on oil and there seem to be no viable alternatives for the moment.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      Well, the Dutch environmental group ‘Milieudefensie’ have now targeted the Shell for a prospective court case if the Shell doesn’t step up its RE initiatives and turn down their FF activities. The Shell maintain that it is the job of Government not Courts to make decisions re climate change policy. This latest action comes after the 2015 ‘Urgenda’ court case ( Urgenda is another Dutch environmental group ) where they took the Dutch government to court over climate change matters. Recently New Zealand and also USA has seen court cases being mounted in efforts against FF companies to stop climate change. I think what we are seeing is the resorting to the Courts and getting legal rulings in the wake of Government failure to properly tackle climate change. The FF companies need to be brought to heel and since they won’t go quietly or voluntarily the only avenue that do understand is.,..the legal system.

  10. Jared 3 years ago

    Michael Mann and his hockey stick is a fraud.

    • Mark Klement 3 years ago

      You should go find the nearest coal fired energy plant and just hang out for a few days, maybe get yourself downwind and see how it feels. Then find a solarfarm and do the same thing. Maybe just the physical differences between the two will provide some enlightenment.

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