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European Parliament calls for fast action to cut non-CO2 climate forcers

The European Parliament is calling for fast action to reduce non-CO2 climate forcers including black carbon soot, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), methane, and ground-level ozone, which together are responsible for nearly half of climate forcing. The Parliament’s call for action came in a Resolution passed today by an overwhelming majority (578 to 51 with 22 abstentions).

The Resolution calls for a comprehensive climate policy and “stresses that in addition to considering CO2 emission reductions, it should place emphasis on strategies that can produce the fastest climate response,” specifically strategies to cut black carbon soot, HFCs, methane, and ground-level ozone. Because these climate forcers are short-lived, reducing them produces a fast climate response. This is in contrast to long-lived CO2, where a significant portion remains in the atmosphere for thousands of years. Even cutting CO2 emissions to zero today will not produce cooling for a thousand years.

Action on HFCs and black carbon could begin within 2-3 years and be substantially under way within 5-10 years, say MEPs. Targeting these emissions could be highly cost-effective, they add, since HFCs can be reduced at a public cost of 5-10 cents per tonne, compared to €13 per tonne for carbon.

Cutting just two of the short-lived climate forcers—black carbon soot and ground-level ozone—can cut the rate of global warming in half and by two-thirds in the Arctic for the next 30 to 60 years, assuming we also make progress on CO2.

—Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development

The EU Resolution follows the first-ever ministerial meeting on short-lived climate forcers held 12 September in Mexico City, hosted by Mexico and Sweden, along with the United States and the United Nations Environment Programme. A follow-up technical meeting will be hosted by Bangladesh in October, with further ministerial meetings likely in the future.

Comments

Engineer-Poet

I bet the usual suspects in the USA will be against this also, because of reflexive opposition.

ToppaTom

So, do the unusual suspects believe:
”Even cutting CO2 emissions to zero today will not produce cooling for a thousand years.”?

And if so, is it not logical that 1000 years from now, our descendents will say; “Why did those fools think we would NOT have unimaginable technology, much sooner than 1000 years, that would control climate change, much better than they employed then”

JMartin

TT: You assume we will have descendants 1000 years from now. No action, no descendants so let's just wait.

ToppaTom

Action = no effect - for 1000 years,
so let's just wait;
at least for a fraction of those 1000 years.

ToppaTom

OK; do they mean that:
"Even cutting CO2 emissions to zero today will moderate today's temperature increase but not produce cooling for a thousand years.”?


Or has this run it's course and the new effort is, re-brainwash people into believing ACC was a hoax and publish papers debunking ACC?

Engineer-Poet

The guy whose intellect and attention span is limited to sound bites... tries to re-frame the issue as a sound bite. Ironic.

Also wrong. It's the difference between turning up the A/C (fast response) and planting shade trees (slow response).

richard schumacher

Why stop smoking now? They'll have much better cancer cures in 20 years.

ToppaTom

EP - your analogy/sound bite means what?

It seems to mean;
Don’t do anything costly/hasty (fast response; like mandatory carbon credits, excess EV rebates or ultra high CAFÉ); just shape society slowly/economically(slow response; like shade trees, reduced oil imports).

I am reminded of the SF story where a handfull of costly spaceships head for the nearest star systems that might support life.

The trip was hell, took many generations and a few survive, but after 500 years one ship arrives to find humanoid inhabitants on one planet.

Those they left behind had perfected much faster space travel.

When you reach 75, and the doctor says; "You must quit smoking", you're in trouble if you are not a smoker.

Engineer-Poet

I've read several different versions of that SF plot line, including one in which a crewman who was awake at the time witnessed an FTL ship "collide" and get knocked into normal space.

My sound-bite was an oversimplified analogy to get down to your level. The point of reducing black carbon, ozone, etc. is twofold:

  1. address the part of the problem which can be changed quickly
  2. get the non-warming-related benefits of reducing those pollutants and their precursors

ToppaTom

"Oversimplified" is an understatement.

I'm sure my interpretation of your vague sound-bite is MUCH more accurate than yours.

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