So the good news is that the International Energy Agency reports U.S. emissions dropped in 2012 “while total CO2 emissions growth in China was one of the lowest in the last decade.” China’s annual carbon pollution now exceeds our by 60%!
The IEA sums up the not so good news in this slide:
Yes we are headed toward up to 9°F warming if we keep listening to the do nothing and do little crowd. And that, according to Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven, has “potentially disastrous implications in terms of extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and the huge economic and social costs that these can bring.
Doing nothing to reduce carbon pollution this decade also has a staggering net cost of $3.5 trillion — assuming that post-2020 we then tried to get back on the 2 C (3.6 F) pathway, as the report explains:
Delaying stronger climate action to 2020 would come at a cost: $1.5 trillion in low-carbon investments are avoided before 2020 but $5 trillion in additional investments would be required thereafter to get back on track.
The cost of staying on the 2C path this decade is not costly. IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol, who is the report’s lead author, said “We identify a set of proven measures that could stop the growth in global energy-related emissions by the end of this decade at no net economic cost.”
In this “4-for-2 C Scenario, global energy-related greenhouse-gas emissions are 8% (3.1 Gt CO2 equivalent) lower in 2020 than the level otherwise expected,” thanks to 4 key strategies