Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
A study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications provides a glimmer of hope on meeting the Paris Agreement’s greenhouse gas emissions targets globally. According to the study, if we begin right now, and “carbon-intensive infrastructure is phased out at the end of its design lifetime from the end of 2018, there is a 64% chance that peak global mean temperature rise remains below 1.5 °C.” In other words, if we stop building new “carbon intensive” power plants and phase out the old ones and also cars and airplanes that run on conventional gasoline — not shut them down now, but instead at the end of their “lifetimes,” then we have better than 50/50 odds of keeping our emissions at the level to achieve the Paris targets. This means going to a zero-carbon energy scenario in forty years.
Ecowatch further explained that the “researchers made the following assumptions about what a fast, medium and slow phaseout beginning at the end of 2018 would mean:
Power plants and industrial infrastructure like cement kilns would end their lifespans within 30, 40 or 50 years.
Planes and ships would end their lifespans within 21, 26 or 31 years.
Cars would end their lifespan within 12.7, 15.6 or 18 years.
The researchers used computer models to look at various scenarios. According to The Guardian, if we delay taking these actions until 2030, the odds of making the Paris Agreement targets decline to only 33%.
Why This Matters:Realistically, it is unlikely that everywhere all over the globe we can phase out fossil fuels entirely and cut meat consumption sufficiently within 40 years to achieve the 1.5-degree targets. That is essentially what the experts have been saying for months now — including the UN Climate Science Expert Panel as well as the U.S. government’s climate science experts. But, but, but …. this study is helpful in providing hope and a realistic path forward so that we can come close to the targets by just phasing out our current “addiction” to fossil fuels. We don’t have to undergo tremendous economic upheaval — just gradually shift away from oil and gas and coal as the lifetimes of these systems end. We are already seeing that happen as coal plants are being retired now and replaced with renewable energy plants. We just have to stiffen our resolve to make these changes as they come.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Colorado, like many Western states, is facing down another year of record-breaking wildfires. Colorado’s Boulder County estimates that over the next 30 years, it will cost $100 million to update transport and drainage systems to reduce wildfire risk. But the county doesn’t want to put its residents on the […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A new study has found a mere 5% of the world’s power plants are responsible for 73% of emissions released from energy generation. A group of researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder analyzed 2018 data from 29,000 fossil fuel power plants in 221 countries and found the […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer One of the big headlines out of the European Union’s recently released package of concrete policies to hit climate neutrality was the phase out of diesel and petrol fueled cars by 2035. The proposal plans for charging stations every 60km (about every 37 miles), a massive ramp up in […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.