Green House Gas Emissions Current Affairs - 2019

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CO2 emissions rose by 2% in 2018: Study

As per a closely-watched review by United Kingdom (UK) based energy giant BP, titled “The BP Statistical Review of World Energy”, the global carbon emissions grew by 2.0% in 2018, the highest rate since 2010-2011. BP is a London based, British multinational oil and gas company.

Key Findings of Study

  • The study called that the current trend of increasing carbon emissions is putting world on an ‘unsustainable’ path.
  • There is a growing mismatch between societal demands for action on climate change i.e. for cutting a country’s net greenhouse (GHG) emissions to zero and the actual pace of progress being made in the domain.
  • The energy demand and carbon emissions are currently growing at their fastest rate for years.
  • The global energy demand grew by 2.9%. A part of this rise was met by increasing shale rock reserve exploitation in United States (US), which recorded fastest rise of oil and natural gas production in world, in recent times.
  • Although the use of renewable forms of energy globally grew by 14.5% in 2018 but it still accounted for just 33% of total rise in power generation in 2018.
  • Significance: The study highlights that a focus on green/renewable forms of energy will not be able to achieve net-zero GHG emission targets, rather the governments should to do more towards cutting the use of polluting coal and oil. This means that It should not be a race to renewables, but a race to reduce carbon emissions across many fronts.

About BP Statistical Review of World Energy

  • It is viewed as an energy industry standard.
  • It pools data on everything such as from the size of countries’ oil reserves to their production of renewable energy and various consumption rates.

Global efforts taken for CO2 Emissions

  • Globally, governments are coming under intensifying pressure from campaigners to set deadlines by which they will cut their net greenhouse (GHG) emissions to zero.
  • Britain’s top advisory body on climate change has recommended that British government must target for cutting their net GHG emissions to zero by 2050. This is the same deadline adopted by some other European governments.
  • The progressive wing of US Congress is pushing for year 2030 as a deadline for US government to cut their net GHG emissions to zero. Although most analysts view this target as unattainable and prohibitively expensive to reach.

Month: Categories: Reports & IndicesUPSC

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Global Environment Outlook 2019 Report

The Global Environment Outlook (GEO) is the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP)  flagship environmental assessment.  The first publication was in 1997 and was originally requested by the Member States. The Global Environment Outlook Report 2019 is the sixth edition.

Findings of the Report

  • The report notes that a quarter of all premature deaths and diseases worldwide are due to manmade pollution and environmental damage.
  • The report warns that deadly emissions, chemicals polluting drinking water, and the accelerating destruction of ecosystems crucial to the livelihoods of billions of people are driving a worldwide epidemic that hampers the global economy.
  • The report highlights the growing divide between rich and poor as rampant overconsumption, pollution and food waste in the developed world leads to hunger, poverty and disease elsewhere.
  • The report notes that as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise amid a preponderance of droughts, floods and superstorms made worse by climbing sea levels, there is a growing political consensus that climate change poses a future risk to billions.
  • The report expresses concern that the health impacts of pollution, deforestation and the mechanised food-chain are less well understood.
  • The report notes that poor environmental conditions cause approximately 25% of global disease and mortality and resulted in around 9 million deaths in 2015 alone.
  • Due to lack of access to clean drinking supplies, 1.4 million people die each year from preventable diseases such as diarrhoea and parasites linked to pathogen-riddled water and poor sanitation.
  • The report notes that chemicals pumped into the seas causes potentially multi-generational adverse health effects, and land degradation through mega-farming and deforestation occurs in areas of Earth home to 3.2 billion people.
  • The report states that air pollution causes 6-7 million early deaths annually.
  • The report calls for a root-and-branch detoxifying of human behaviour while insisting that the situation is not unassailable. Food waste for instance, which accounts for 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, could be slashed. The world currently throws away a third of all food produced. In richer nations, 56% goes to waste.

The report makes a strong case for a rapid drawdown in greenhouse gas emissions and pesticide use to improve air and water quality. The report also notes lack of any international agreement for the environment close to covering what the 2015 Paris accord does for the climate.

Month: Categories: Environment & BiodiversityUPSC

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