1. The Climate-KIC team
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Share your thoughts:

How much time do you think we actually have left before having depleted our carbon budget?
What are our options once we have depleted it?

This discussion is part of the learning nugget Climate impact 1 in Ideating Climate Business.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
In my opinion these questions are strange.
I don't think we should look at when our budget is depleted. That doesn't make sense.
We should just stop do produce GHG as much as possible, this can be enforced by law and there should not be something like a permit so you can produce more gasses.
In my opinion we should not think about what if, we should focus on as much as possible. Btw we focus to much on our human perspective, not seeing how much we already damaged.

I wonder what you guys think.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
I agree to Nine. It is really difficult to say when exactly 'our' 'carbon budget' is depleted. What means our? Are we thinking in Terms of Nations? Continents? Or global? What is exactly our Carbon Budget? All the Environmental Modelling can't tell which effects the increasing GHG-Emission will really have on the whole ecosystem worldwide in future. So our aim should be to reduce the GHG-Emission and create a sustainable energy System as soon as possible. And our Options for the future depend on the way Science an Technology will develop in the next 20 years and also on the way the nature will Change in this time.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
To some extent, I agree with Nine in that I feel this question suggests action should only be taken once the carbon budget is exceeded – which I completely disagree with.

However, in terms of how long we have left of our carbon budget, this depends entirely on the degree of warming we are aiming for. According to the IPCC (2014), in order to achieve 1.5 degrees warming, at current emissions levels our carbon budget will be depleted within 6 years, whereas a 2.0-degree warming has 21 years. A 1.5-degree target has been suggested by the EU during the Paris Agreements in late 2015, which demonstrates the urgent need for action.

Our options once these budgets are depleted do not technically change as they are theoretical boundaries and sudden changes will not occur if the boundaries are breached. However, long-term global warming will have gradual yet potentially devastating effects on our planet (and the greater amount of carbon released, the greater impact it will have on the planet). Therefore, regardless of budgets action must be taken now.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
If think the time we have left is of course dependent on how much action we take. I really liked the visualization made to this part and have attached it to my post. I hope that we will end up in the "aggressive mitigation" field, but maybe it is more likely to end up in the "strong mitigation" field. According to the calculation in the attached file we will probably have used our carbon budget before 2050 which is a really scary thought.

The slower we deplete our carbon budget, the more time we have to come up with new solutions that have less or no carbon emissions. If the carbon budget is used up within 30 years I do not think we will have it all figured out by then, and as the time ticks we will experience outcomes of the climate change which gives us even more problems to solve. Maybe we would have to stop production of some type of non-essential products to try to stop the developing catastrophy.
Attachments (1)
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
As some of you guys have already mentioned, also to me the idea of a "carbon budget" seems strange. GHG emissions need to be minimized in the first place. We need more advanced technology and behavioral changes for that purpose.
I am also skeptical, when it comes to carbon storage. The idea of removing carbon from the atmosphere seems like another good sounding idea, but the consequences of this procedure might potentially endanger geological or fauna systems of the planet.
I also would like to mention here, that the "we" formulation of this question is quite problematic. When speaking about the 2 degrees goal which was widely celebrated after the COP 21 in Paris, it is important to consider different degrees to which countries are affected by climate change consequences. E.g. small island states like the Philippines, claim that even the 2 degrees target is not sufficient to safe their islands severe floodings, droughts and major rises of sea levels. So for me, this basically means that there is no time left and the "business as usual" approach is no longer acceptable.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
The preceding content in the nugget was about how important definitions are when understanding what strategies we need to employ (or at least consider employing) to combat climate change caused by anthropogenic influences. I agree more or less with the rest of you who have stated that the questions in this nugget are strangely and vaguely phrased, but this urges us to be critical about the definitions we employ on a day-to-day basis in the sustainability policy discourse. The amount of time we have left before we have depleted our carbon budget first depends on the definition of this budget and on the geo- or socio-political context in which we find ourselves. The definition I found and would like to work with is the following:

"The [carbon budget] is a tolerable quantity of greenhouse gas emissions that can be emitted in total over a specified time" - WWF (2014)

Here, again, questions about definitions pop up. Who defines what a tolerable quantity of GHG emissions is? What is the specified time? And who can take up what share of the budget? Even disregarding these questions, I would state that we have already depleted the budget because there is a general imbalance in what we take from the Earth and what we give back.

In considering what our options are once we have depleted the carbon budget, I would say we have the choice out of three categories: social/political/economic solutions; technical solutions (techno-fix), and a combination of these. In the first category, we could find targets, specific pricing policies like eco-taxing, and the reduction of individual consumption through sharing and community-based solutions. In the second category - that of technical solutions - we could think about sequestration, carbon neutral technologies in sectors like transport and manufacturing (e.g. carbon neutral cars), the use of geo-engineering techniques to create nature-based sinks, and an overall greening of the energy system that can have cross-sectoral influences. I think we should look at solutions in the third category, where technology and society come together in solutions like industrial ecology, upcycling, and cradle-to-cradle thinking.


WWF (2014). Understanding Carbon Budgets. Retrieved from http://awsassets.wwf.org.za/downloads/understanding_carbon_budgets_final.pdf on 27-06-2016
Comment
This is indeed a meaningful insight.
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
A lot has been said already on the first question, including a projection by IPCC provided by Linnea, so I would like to focus on the second.
I think depleting our carbon budget almost inevitably means a shock for the global economy and a radical shift in our way of living. The degree of shock will largely depend on political, economical and technological efforts we implement in the years to come, and, logically, the earlier we start adapting, the smoother the transition will be. In a worse case scenario, this transition will be associated with drastically increased poverty (and, perhaps, a changed definition of poverty altogether, it becoming more linked to natural resources rather than financial aspects), revolution in the financial system, and a severe production crisis. Geopolitically, this would be accompanied by a shift in global power, with countries currently leading the way in carbon transition moving to the forefront.
All in all, quite a gloomy projection, but one might say such a sanation is necessary.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 7
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
Agree with Elena above - I'll focus on on the second question. Necessity is the mother of all invention. When the results of unchecked climate change start to become more severe, nations will likely start to implement the very solutions we have explored today: reducing GHG emissions by rethinking our energy, building, agriculture and consumption patterns.

At that point though, we'd have to do double or more, as the video explained, to mitigate the same amount of impacts. And efforts & money would be split between responding to & rebuilding after natural disasters as opposed to mitigating them. Better to do it now, than later.

Unfortunately, those that will suffer most are the global poor, who have the least amount of power, while those with money and power will be less direly impacted.

Why its important to get regular people involved and educated, not just to scare them with stats, but to provide them actionable steps to advocate for industrial change and steps they can take in their own lives to help.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 8
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
How much time do you think we actually have left before having depleted our carbon budget?

After having read the preceding posts I realized that one can indeed argue about the definition of the term carbon budget.
Even though the 2° target is normatively driven and there's no complete certainty whether this is the correct value, especially after the recent research advances to evaluate the 1.5° target, I personally adopted the 2° target to answer the question.
To realistically have the chance to reach this target I immediate action/action in the medium term until 2030 important. Postponing mitigation will significantly increase the required emission reduction rate. Recent increases of emissions are around ~3% and we shouldn't assume that reduction rates surpass this rate from a technological perspective.

What are our options once we have depleted it?

After depletion I consider carbon dioxide removal techniques (biochar, BECCS, direct air capture) a major option, next to carbon free renewables. Currently, I'm afraid that they are considered an option to buy time, i.e. a sheet anchor to compensate our actions later in time. But assumptions in literature seem to be quite optimistic and rely on investments into these technology already now. BECCS, for example, is celebrated for its possibility to create negative emissions but has not been tested at large scale.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 9
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
Referring to question 1, I agree with the comments above, it is indeed difficult to define a carbon budget, since it highly depends on the goal we strive for, i.e. the temperature increase we are willing to accept. Furthermore, relating this budget to a specific time frame can be discussed controversially, since we talk about scenarios that are essentially based on conclusions obtained from analyzing past and present day data. However, the effects even a global temperature increase of 1.5 °C might are completely uncertain, e.g. considering the possible release of enormous amounts of methane currently trapped under the poles and perma-frost soil (that could let the carbon budget shrink rapidly). Nonetheless, I believe that defining a carbon budget can help to identify and agree upon specific milestones and actions, taking into account the fact that climate impact strategies require international collaboration with multiple different interests involved.

I consider the options remaining once this carbon budget is depleted to be what are referred to as negative emission technologies in the video. However, for the same reasons some of you guys already mentioned, this has a wan aftertaste to me,
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 10
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
How much time do you think we actually have left before having depleted our carbon budget?

We need to know that any given carbon budget will cause any given level of warming.
Picking a budget therefore involves choosing how much risk we’re prepared to take of overheating the planet. If we want to avoid taking unacceptable risks with the planet we need to leave most of fossil fuel in the ground.

So while it is good to understand what factors will determine our carbon budget, it is much more important to call on politicians and investors alike to get a grip on this issue and face up to the simple and incontestable reality: there’s far more fossil fuel than we can burn, and the more of it that we take out of the ground, the greater the risk of an irreversible climate catastrophe.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/keep-it-in-the-ground-blog/2015/mar/25/what-numbers-tell-about-how-much-fossil-fuel-reserves-cant-burn

What are our options once we have depleted it?

I agree with the quote already mentioned by Rabia, that »necessity is the mother of all invention«, and I still bellive that »prevention is better than cure«.
All the scenarios for keeping global temperature rise to 2C require “negative emissions” – removing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it on land, underground or in the oceans. We first need to change our way of thinking and acting, because even if we have plenty of negative emissions technologies proposed, we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. We still focus on growth of GDP ,even we know that GDP makes no distinction between productive and destructive activities, has no way of assessing the value of natural resources until they enter the monetary economy, or in other words, are consumed andcompletely ignores all activities and services that have no price attached to them. As Joseph Stiglitz said in Davos: “What we measure informs what we do. And if we’re measuring the wrong thing, we’re going to do the wrong thing.”
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 11
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
I definitely agree with Nina. It makes no sense to think how much we have left; we have the knowledge to state that our actual pathways, our entirely economies based on fossil fuels, is something that is not sustainable anymore. So instead of thinking how much time we have left before having depleted our carbon budget, we should start thinking from this exact moment about different and feasible solutions. We know, as explained in the video, that the electrical system in Africa is not developed yet, so we should think about creating one that is not based on fossil fuels, but on renewable resources. We know that one resource that they could easily use is the sun, right? But we also know that right now solar panels cannot store energy, it is necessary a backup system or (and this is something we should focus on for example) developing the technologies that will provide them with batteries able to store energy, and give them the chance to have electricity even during nights. I think that these are the kind of options we should look for, but not just because we are running out of carbon, but because science proved that using carbon is slowly degrading our Earth.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 12
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
Most people know about GHG emissions and carbon footprint, but the issue of carbon budget is not too common. It is quite difficult to say when exactly our carbon budget is depleted. Scenarious are becoming more gloomy and the targets cannot be reached by policies. I was thinking that the backcasting method could help us to think about this issue. Our aim is to reduce the GHG emissions, so we should start backcasting. Set the desirable futures, but also the possible and the likely futures. What should we choose?
The solution is to combine a long-term vision and near-term implementation. We need innovation, creativity, more efficient solutions and maybe redesigning the problem.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 13
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
I was curious to see the other comments. I agree with most of them that this should not be the question that we should ask ourselves. We have estimations, but the true impact is difficult to determine. Therefore I think that we should focus on the transition towards a sustainable economy (decoupling). The main problem is the responsibility, we have to stimulate that countries, companies and inhabitants take their responsibility. This will grow over time and I think it can be stimulated by rules and regulation.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 14
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
I don't find myself to answer question 1 as the definition and characterisation of carbon budget is not provided. Based on my knowledge, carbon budget concerns how much carbon can be emitted into the atmosphere without (significantly) affecting human and natural systems. In that case, the time is gone!

Because the carbon budget has been depleted, there is then an urgent need to change economic production and consumption towards a green economy. Also, geo-engineering solutions must be soon adopted to reserve the excess of GHG in the atmosphere and its consequent negative effects in human and natural systems.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 15
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
Climate change has no boundaries and I do not necessarily agree with having a time limit imposed. The essence of having targets such as the 2030 targets of reducing global temperatures to 2 degrees by policy makers is to remind the world's citizens of the importance of acting now. In the past years, a lot of ground-breaking research on sustainable energy options have risen however the cost of renewable options have to be justified with output for these options to be viable. Mitigation efforts in terms of behavioural aspects which can target consumption patterns are another viable means of reaching global targets. The focus should be to get all actors in industry to act now.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 16
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
How much time do you think we actually have left before having depleted our carbon budget?

Facing this question I realize how little do we know, hence, my approach to answer it is to embrace the uncertainty. By now the only thing he are certain about is that rising overall temperatures are caused by humans, and we don't know for certain what will the impact be. Some estimates are near apocaliptic, some are a bit more conservative. Being the human kind survival as a species at stake, for me it is very clear that we have to do everything in our power, and as soon as possible, to spare ourselves the chance of getting to know the answer to this question first hand. No risks to be taken.

What are our options once we have depleted it?

Probably climate change will not be the end of the human species, but huge consequences are to be expected. We cannot risk even the lesser of the results predicted to happen. We must be effective at mitigation, in order to avoid drastic adaptation.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 17
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
I trust that characterizing a carbon spending plan can recognize and concur upon particular turning points and moves, making into record the way that atmosphere affect methodologies require universal joint effort with various diverse interests included. I consider the assignment service alternatives remaining once this carbon spending plan is drained to be what are alluded to as negative emanation advancements in the video.
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 18
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
0
Votes
Undo
How much time do you think we actually have left before having depleted our carbon budget?
10 years at this emission rate, or at least it's the timespan when we could still make something.
What are our options once we have depleted it?
Very few of them, since we could be forced to assign nearly all our resources to try to adapt to a new scenario.
  Str. Roma, 2, 43040 Cassio PR, Italy
Visit 
Comment
There are no comments made yet.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. # 19
  • Page :
  • 1


There are no replies made for this post yet.
However, you are not allowed to reply to this post.