Thursday, January 3, 2013

Climate migitation costs risk spiralling 'out of control'

Maxine Perella in The global cost of meeting climate change targets is set to soar unless urgent action is taken, new research has warned.  According to an in-depth study from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), climate target levels will become much more difficult to achieve, and more expensive, if the problem isn't tackled soon.

It points to a lack of political will among world leaders as the biggest barrier in achieving this, with many countries reluctant to take serious steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implement policies that could help mitigate climate change.

Social uncertainties, which relate to public awareness and can influence consumer energy demand, were also considered a significant obstacle.  Both of these were ranked of higher concern than geophysical and technological uncertainties around climate change, such as the future availability of energy supply and carbon capture systems.

This is because after a certain point, there is little chance of limiting temperature rise to below 2°C. According to IIASA energy programme leader and study co-author Keywan Riahi, the longer nations hold off from taking action, the riskier the situation will become.

"With a 20-year delay, you can throw as much money as you have at the problem, and the best outcome you can get is a 50-50 chance of keeping temperature rise below two degrees," he said....

A bridge out in Watervliet, Michigan, shot by Stephanie, Wikimedia Commons,  under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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