The high costs, and minimal benefits, of meeting the Paris Agreement climate targets

Financial Post
Fridays for Future climate change action protest in Paris, France Financial Post | James Alexander Michie

A man holds a painting titled "Our House Is On Fire (Our Children Will Burn)" by artist Julia Vanderbyl depicting Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, during the Fridays for Future climate change action protest in Paris, France, September 20, 2019. Charles Platiau/Reuters files

It is certainly requested that the significant reductions in living standards be accepted so that people in 2100 can be 2.2 times richer than us instead of just twice as rich. In addition to this, it is indicated that we have a maximum of 12 years to take drastic measures to avoid a climatic catastrophe.

Likewise, significant climate protests have been seen in the main cities of Canada and throughout the world have demanded that we all act immediately to stop burning fossil fuels.

Thus, on June 17, the House of Commons approved a motion stating that “Canada is in a national climate emergency which requires, as a response, that Canada commit to meeting its national emissions target under the Paris Agreement and to making deeper reductions in line with the Agreement’s objective of holding global warming below two degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius”.

Questions in the air

Because of this, a series of questions are posed as well, what is the original basis for the prediction of a catastrophe? The reference to maintaining global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius refers to the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in October 2018. The IPCC is an intergovernmental body established by the United Nations in 1988. We must remember that its mandate is “to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation”.

Thus, it is necessary to emphasize that its mandate does not extend to investigate the natural causes of climate change, which can put it in a conflict of interest. And if the panel determined that man-induced causes are relatively unimportant in relation to natural causes, or even that the impact of climate change itself is relatively unimportant, it would undermine its own reason for existing.

Similarly, it is understood that the IPCC report states that in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C above the prevailing temperatures in the late 1800s at the end of this century, humanity must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent before 2030 and achieve zero net emissions in 2050. This is a more stringent goal than the one established in the Paris Agreement in 2015, which was to keep temperature increases below 2 degrees C by 2100.

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Source: Steve Ambler | Financial Post

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