Millions of mainly school children around the world took part in the “climate strike” day, on September 20th, with rallies in Glasgow, Manchester and London and many other British cities. The global protests, to save the Planet, come ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York urging countries to do more to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
As an example of this, the Met Office has forecast that Britain will be gripped by four heat-waves a year and twice as many flash floods in the next 50 years unless carbon emissions are drastically reduced.
UN Climate Action Summit September 2019: – Ecopush’s blog item September 2019
Greta damns world leaders for failing us on climate change
“Global emissions are reaching record levels and show no sign of peaking. The last four years were the four hottest on record, and winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3°C since 1990. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying, and we are starting to see the life-threatening impact of climate change on health, through air pollution, heatwaves and risks to food security.”
The Paris Agreement of April 2016, commits signatory nations to keeping global temperatures “well below” 2.0C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times. The latest analysis shows that to act now will reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2°C and even to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
The transformative approach envisaged by UN climate Action is action through six “action portfolios” and three additional key areas shown below: –
What is the UK doing about climate change?
Increased sustainable power generation: Ecopush’s blog item June2019
In October 2017, the UK Government launched the Clean Growth Strategy, fulfilling its legal obligation to set out policies and proposals to enable the carbon budgets set by Parliament to be met through eight key areas. The Government has now legislated to formulate the policies and provide the funding to to deliver and cut emissions to zero by 2050. Much of actual action to deliver the Government’s renewable energy strategy depends on increasing the proportion of electricity generated by nuclear power. Wind power, however, is playing an increasingly important role.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, states that wind generated almost a fifth of the UK’s electricity (19.1%) in the first quarter of 2018 of which 10.6% was onshore. At the same time Renewables generated 30.1% of overall need according to the Government’s “Energy Trends” document.
Sustainable Energy good news
In the 20th September auctions of offshore wind generated electricity costs had tumbled by a third of those in 2017, to about £40 (£39.65 to £41.61)per megawatt hour, which is less than the current price of electricity in the wholesale energy market (around £50 Mwh).
The UK announced that Equinor and its partner SSE were awarded contracts to develop three large scale offshore wind projects in the Dogger Bank region of the North Sea. This will be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm development with a total installed capacity of 3.6 GW and in the last five years or so offshore wind has plummeted below the cost of fossil fuels. Currently, the UK has 10,010 wind turbines, total installed capacity of over 21.5 gigawatts, and the Government’s ambition of 75 gigawatt capacity by 2050 would make the country self sufficient.
And another good action to save the Planet:
- In the 2018-19 financial year just over 2m trees were planted in England and about 11,200 hectares of new planting was undertaken in Scotland last year. The Government is committed to plant 11 million trees (about 1,273 hectares) between the 2017-22, but the Committee on Climate Change in July 2019 recommended 30,000 hectares of woodland should be planted annually, more than double the new trees planted last year.
- One tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of CO2 per year and can sequester 1 ton of CO2 by the time it reaches 40 years old with oak being the most carbon-absorbing species.
- Ethiopians Planted 350 million trees as part of the ‘Green Legacy’ Program in one day in on 31st July 2019.
- India planted 50 million trees in one day, in Allahabad, on 11th July 11 2016.
- On average, about 218 million seedlings are planted each year in British Columbia, and in 2016, about 259 million trees and about 266 million in 2017 were planted.
- Americans plants approximately 1.6 billion trees every year of which forest product companies are responsible for half.
The Woodland Trust says 50 million trees need to be planted each year for the UK to achieve “net zero” carbon by 2050. The Government’s Climate Change Committee says that 1.5 billion tree need to be planted to reach the 2050 target.