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• • • ~77% of emissions to date are from developed countries…. . us!! Australia represents about 1% of world emissions and is one of the highest per capita emitters (28 tonnes person as against China’s 5 tonnes person). Worryingly observed changes over the last 20 years reflect the middle to high end of early climate change projections…. and actual global emissions since 2000 grew faster than in the highest (worst) of the most recent scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Hardest hit will be those who didn’t cause it and have the least ability to cope!! It is recognised that we need to reduce emissions globally by (at least) 50 -60% by 2050. This means at least an ~80% or more reduction for Australia if it is shared out equally (a big global social equity issue)!!
Emissions by sector for South Australia • Totalling ~20 tonnes CO 2 e person (20 000 kg CO 2 equivalent) person in South Australia ~30% of this is residential Australian emissions by sector….
An emissions breakdown on a personal level from day to day activity of this 30%…. • ~34% of this 30% is transport (~10% of total) ~1/2 of Transport sector • ~40% of 30% is in electricity generation for household use (~12% of total) ~1/2 of Stationary energy sector • ~17% of 30% is in gas use in homes and waste (~5% of total)
Air travel and greenhouse gas emissions…. • ~2% of CO 2 emissions globally, Civil Aviation in Australia is ~1%. • Domestic air travel emissions grew 76% from 1990 to 2005. • Total warming from air planes is equal to ~3. 5% of global warming due to water vapour and NOx injected from jet engines into the stratosphere. • Air traffic in Australia is growing at ~8% pa and projected to increase ~3 x in the next 20 years in Australia, ~ double globally, so may end up at ~7 -10% of global warming forcing. (there is the unknown impact of carbon taxes and peak oil? ? )
On a recent Adelaide to Melbourne trip…. • flying return= 240 kg of CO 2 person (from online calculator). • by bus: ~350 L of diesel was used each way for the whole bus. (1 L diesel=2. 45 kg CO 2) 40 passengers one way, 25 the other : 9 kg + 13 kg = 22 kg of CO 2 person Bus is ~10 x better in emissions (takes longer. . . 10 hrs vs ~ 3 hrs) (bus may be even better because of no water vapour and NO 2 effect ) • I get a lot of reading done and work on the laptop, and meet some interesting people!! • Train is apparently better for freight than road, not as good with passengers as the bus.
Sydney to UK return: ~4. 4 tonnes of CO 2 (4000 kg). Adelaide to Sydney return: ~0. 44 tonnes (440 kg) Passenger cars are ~8% of national emissions (~14% for SA). Compared with average car use of 15000 km per year… • Commodore 3. 9 L ~4. 5 tonnes of CO 2 • 2. 0 L Corolla ~ 3. 2 tonnes of CO 2 • 1. 3 L Mazda ~2. 2 tonnes of CO 2 (with 10% ethanol is about 2. 0 tonnes) • Prius or small diesel car ~1. 7 tonnes of CO 2 Smaller is better!!
If you really, really have to fly…. . Can carbon offset…. paying for activities that reduce carbon dioxide emissions equal to those from your part of the flight. ie Virgin Blue, Carbon Planet etc • The worth of some schemes is not clear ie tropical planting may be better than planting in mid-latitudes. We really need to be both carbon offsetting and reducing emissions!!
What else can we do? ? • • • Solar hot water: a bit expensive up front but pays back within ~2 years. ~10% Turn off standby appliances and buy efficient appliances. ~7% Compact fluoro lights: not going to save us all!!. ~4% Cycle/bus/ buy a small car/hybrid vehicle. ~16% Insulate your roof/doors/windows/hot water pipes. ~5% Reduce food miles and go veggie/dairy free as much as possible!! ~10% (not on pie chart but based on livestock producing 18% of emissions per capita) • Use ethanol or biodiesel: ~10 -20% on ~30% = ~3% Totals 55% savings…. . each small change adds up!! This is without Green. Power or solar PV panels!! • Join an accredited Green. Power scheme. So can save ~25 -50% of 45%!! (Yes it is a bit more complicated than this but. . ) • Solar PV panels will save about the same as the Green. Power ~25 -50% but are currently pretty expensive, taking ~20 years to pay back. Great to do if you can afford it!! People pay much more for home renovations!!
To finish…. . lots of issues!! • Going through the process and tracking down the figures has been sobering!! • We can relatively easily right now reduce our personal emissions (ie 30% of our per capita emissions) by ~60 -75% through behaviour changes and wiser purchases…without drastic impacts to our lives. (so a 4 tonne flight to the UK then becomes an even bigger percentage of our reduced annual emissions of ~15 -16 tonnes!!) • But this is only equal to ~18 -23% of our per capita emissions!!! • This makes a 50 -60% per capita target ‘interesting’…. and ultimately (past 2050) we will still need to get close to 2. 5 tonnes or less person, ie 50% of current global average of 5 tonnes person, in any kind of equitable world!! (with electric vehicles, cheaper solar panels, hot rock geothermal, CO 2 sequestration and…. ? ) • Need to engage everyone…business, industry, government, the developed and the developing world. Global warming is a global issue!!
• • • We can do our bit in our personal 30%. Emissions more widely are a concern ie business, industry and government need to be encouraged to play their part. And this is in the context of 3% pa economic growth and ~1. 5% pa population rise……individuals can’t solve this by their actions alone!! Stern report determined we could mitigate emissions by ~25% at cost of 1% GDP by 2050…. and it will ultimately be ~10 x more expensive if we don’t!! The developed world needs to use it’s wealth and technology (produced while emitting 77% of the problem so far) to introduce better ways of doing things, and perhaps most importantly be seen to be taking real action to lead the way!! It is pretty clear that some big changes are needed in our current way of doing things…technologically and economically, to meet targets that have a chance of keeping below 2 -3 degrees warming!!
Some useful links…. • • http: //www. realclimate. org/ www. bom. gov. au/climate http: //gristmill. grist. org/skeptics http: //www. metoffice. gov. uk/corporate/pres soffice/myths/index. html
This started around not flying but has demonstrated that action needs to be taken on all fronts!! We are all on a journey into new territory!!