Energy change is key to meeting UN climate goal: panel

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)pose with a copy of the IPCC report "Climate Change 2014, Mitigation of Cli
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)pose with a copy of the IPCC report "Climate Change 2014, Mitigation of Climate Change" during a press conference in Berlin on April 13, 2014

The world can still meet the UN goal to limit global warming provided it cuts annual greenhouse gas emissions by 40-70 percent by 2050, a top expert panel said Sunday.

The cost will not be crippling, but the longer it takes to switch to cleaner energy sources, the harder and more expensive it will become to halt warming at the UN's targeted two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned starkly that on present trends the planet would be 3.7-4.8 C warmer by 2100—a level many scientists say could be catastrophic.

"There is a clear message from science: to avoid dangerous interference with the climate system, we need to move away from business as usual," said Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chairman of the UN expert group that compiled the report.

While most scenarios for meeting the target "require substantial investments", he said, this "does not mean that the world... needs to sacrifice ."

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said the findings challenged governments to make the world carbon-neutral in the second half of the century.

"We cannot play a waiting game where we bet on future technological miracles to emerge and save the day," she said in a statement.

The report is the third and final chapter of a mammoth overview by the Nobel Prize-winning panel—its first assessment since 2007.

Compiled by hundreds of experts over four years, it collates the available science on , seeking to inform national policies and the faltering global effort, which Figueres oversees, to formulate a pact by 2015 on curbing .

A summary of the document, issued Sunday, warns that delaying further cuts to 2030 would "substantially increase the difficulty" of reaching the 2C goal.

For a 66 percent or "likely" chance of meeting it, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere must be contained at about 450 particles per million of CO2 equivalent (ppm CO2eq) in 2100—compared to 430 ppm CO2eq in 2011.

This would entail a 40-70 percent emissions reduction from 2010 to 2050, nearing zero by 2100.

Unprecedented emissions rise

There would also be a "tripling to nearly a quadrupling" in the share of energy from renewable and nuclear sources and from traditional fossil or new biofuel sources whose emissions are captured.

Greenhouse gas emissions
Latest IPCC findings on greenhouse gas emissions by economic sector and by region of the world (130 x 174 mm)

This will come at a cost—clipping about 0.06 percentage points annually off growth in global consumption, which would otherwise have been about 1.6-3.0 percent per year over the century, according to the estimates.

The calculation did not factor in potential savings from tackling emissions, including healthier humans and ecosystems and energy security.

"The IPCC is clear that acting on climate change is possible, beneficial and affordable," said WWF climate representative Samantha Smith.

"If we act now, costs will be only a very small fraction of global economies."

But Nicholas Stern, a British economist who authored a 2006 report on climate costs, warned the energy clean-up lacked essential tools.

"We need sound policies, such as a strong price on carbon, and much more investments in technologies to reduce emissions, including electricity storage, renewables, nuclear power, and carbon capture and storage."

The summary said atmospheric greenhouse gas levels of about 500 ppm CO2eq by 2100, which yields a lesser chance of staying under 2C, would require emissions 25-50 percent lower by 2050 than in 2010.

From levels of 550 ppm CO2eq by 2100, the chances of reaching the 2C target become less than 50 percent, and worse.

The document—which listed options but made no recommendations—said emissions increased an unprecedented billion tonnes per year in the decade ending 2010, driven by rapid economic growth powered by fossil fuels.

On current trends, 2100 atmospheric levels could be almost double or even triple those of today, it added.

Wake-up call'

Options for action include phasing out fossil-fuel subsidies, investing in cleaner sources, and rolling out technology—still in its infancy—to capture and store carbon emissions from power plants that burn coal, oil and gas.

A file picture taken on January 31, 2012 in Sofia shows the sun rising behind chimneys of a thermal power station
A file picture taken on January 31, 2012 in Sofia shows the sun rising behind chimneys of a thermal power station

The list also includes cutting energy waste and halting deforestation, boosting low-carbon public transport systems and designing smarter cities that are less energy-hungry.

US Secretary of State John Kerry described the report as "a wake-up call" for entrepreneurs.

"The global energy market represents a $6 trillion (4.34-trillion-euro) opportunity, with six billion users around the world. By 2035, investment in the energy sector is expected to reach nearly $17 trillion," he said.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the report should prompt countries to act "swiftly and boldly on climate change."

European climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard threw down the gauntlet to other major emitters to "reduce emissions now".

"We in Europe will adopt an ambitious 2030 target later this year," she said. "Now the question is: when will YOU, the big emitters, do the same?"

The Summary for Policymakers was adopted on Saturday after a line-by-line scrutiny by government representatives and scientists.

The full report, over 2,000 pages, should be released within days.

In the first volume of its Fifth Assessment Report, released last September, the IPCC predicted temperatures could rise 0.3 to 4.8 degrees C this century and sea levels creep up by 26-82 centimetres (10-32 inches).

The second chapter, published last month, warned of the rising risk of conflict, hunger, floods and mass displacement from coastal erosion.

Explore further

Governments approve text of UN climate report

© 2014 AFP

Citation: Energy change is key to meeting UN climate goal: panel (2014, April 13) retrieved 17 September 2019 from
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Apr 14, 2014
We will soon find out if a cheap green silver bullet, one missing path to slowing climate change, is at hand.

Atmospheric heat, a largely untapped source of solar energy, can potentially power engines continuously without the need for fuel.

Two decades of physics research indicate not only that this may be possible, but that there exist exploitable exceptions to the current interpretation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

An example of such an exception is a patent pending piston engine currently being prototyped. Utilizing the abundant energy stored in the atmosphere, this design is capable of producing power continuously and can scale to large sizes.

Small prototype engines will be tested and validated by independent labs. A desktop piston engine capable of charging a tablet computer and cell phone will follow. Units capable of powering homes and small buildings will not be far behind. See

Apr 15, 2014
Mark Goldes states that "Atmospheric heat, a largely untapped source of solar energy, can potentially power engines continuously without the need for fuel."

However, at any given time and place, the atmosphere only provides a single heat reservoir at a single temperature. In order for a cyclic heat engine to do any work, it must be provided not merely with a single heat reservoir, but with two heat reservoirs, at different temperatures. This is an inescapable consequence of one of the most well-established principles in all of physics: the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

To people who have never studied thermodynamics, it might seem that nothing more should be needed to power a heat engine than a reservoir of heat. However, that is not so. In order to do any work, a cyclic heat engine must utilize not just one, but two heat reservoirs, at different temperatures.

Apr 15, 2014
Goldes falsely claims that "Two decades of physics research indicate not only that this [single-reservoir atmospheric heat engine] may be possible, but that there exist exploitable exceptions to the current interpretation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics."

This false and baseless flimflam comes from the very same person who has actually spent the last two decades claiming year after year that his make-believe "room temperature superconductors" would be validated "next year," that his make-believe "Virtual Photon Flux" engine would be validated "next year," that his make-believe energy-multiplying horn-powered-tuning-rod "POWERGENIE" engine would be validated "next year," and that his make-believe "Collapsing Hydrogen Orbits" "fractional hydrogen" engine would be validated "next year" - not to mention various other make-believe marvels. In fact, after a forty-year career in flimflam, Goldes has presented and validated a grand total of zero fulfillments of his endless claims.

Apr 15, 2014
Mark Goldes, starting in the mid-seventies, engaged for several years in the pretense that his company SunWind Ltd was developing a nearly production-ready, freeway-capable, wind-powered "windmobile," based on the windmobile created by James Amick. Zero products sold.

After SunWind "dried up" in 1983, Goldes embarked on the long-running pretense that his company Room Temperature Superconductors Inc was developing room-temperature superconductors; and that therefore Room Temperature Superconductors Inc would be a wonderful investment opportunity. Zero products sold.

And then Goldes embarked on the pretense that his company Magnetic Power Inc was developing "NO FUEL ENGINES" based on "Virtual Photon Flux;" and then, on the pretense that MPI was developing horn-powered "NO FUEL ENGINES" based on the resonance of magnetized tuning-rods; and then, on the pretense that his company Chava LLC (aka "Chava Energy") was developing water-fueled engines based on "collapsing hydrogen orbits."

Apr 15, 2014
But of course, the laws of physics always make an exception for the make-believe pretenses of Mark Goldes.

Goldes' forty-year career of "revolutionary breakthrough" pretense has nothing to do with science, but only with pseudoscience, pseudophysics, and relentless flimflam, in pursuit of loans and donations from gullible people who never mastered physics very well.


Apr 15, 2014
Mark Goldes' "AESOP Institute" has engaged for many years in the very dishonest and unscrupulous practice of soliciting loans and donations under an endless series of false pretenses, that it is developing and even "prototyping" various "revolutionary breakthroughs," such as "NO FUEL ENGINES" that run on ambient heat alone - or run on "Virtual Photon Flux" - or on "Collapsing Hydrogen Orbits" - or even on the acoustic energy of sound from a horn.

AESOP Institute's make-believe strictly ambient heat engine is ruled out by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This has been understood by physicists for at least 190 years. There is no "new science" that has ever determined such an engine to be possible.

AESOP Institute's make-believe "Virtual Photon Flux" engine is based on the idea that accessible electric power "is everywhere present in unlimited quantities" - which we know to be false.

Apr 16, 2014
AESOP Institute's make-believe "Collapsing Hydrogen Orbits" engine is based on Randell Mills' theory of "hydrino" hydrogen, which every scientist knows to be false.

AESOP Institute's make-believe horn-powered engine is based on the pretense that a magnetized tuning rod could somehow "multiply energy" - a ludicrous notion, which is obviously ruled out by the law of conservation of energy.

AESOP Institute's very latest make-believe engine is a perpetual motion machine in the form of a self-powered air compressor, which proposes to use a turbine to compress air to spin the turbine to compress air to spin the turbine.

AESOP Institute has never offered the slightest shadow of evidence that it is actually developing or "prototyping" any of these make-believe physics-defying "revolutionary breakthroughs." All it has ever offered are mere declarations that it is doing so - unsupported by any proof whatever, of any kind whatever.

Apr 16, 2014
In case any readers have not been impressed in previous years by Mark Goldes' make-believe "Virtual Photon Flux" engine, his make-believe water-fueled "Collapsing Hydrogen Orbits" "fractional hydrogen" engine, his make-believe horn-powered tuning-rod "POWERGENIE" engine, or his make-believe single-heat-reservoir strictly ambient heat engine, please don't imagine that Mr. Goldes has run out of fresh flimflam for your consideration. Goldes has recently begun to proclaim the advent of yet another make-believe engine: the amazing FUEL-FREE TURBINE!

Mark Goldes' latest adventure in flimflam is to declare that a "FUEL-FREE TURBINE invented by a Russian scientist runs on atmospheric pressure."

It turns out that Goldes is referring to a patent application filed by Boris Kondrashov in 2003 – and rejected by the Patent Office.

Apr 16, 2014
The very first sentence of Kondrashov's Abstract alerts us to the fact that the proposed engine is ruled out by the Kelvin-Planck postulate and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Kondrashov says:

"The invention can be used for converting atmospheric energy and low-grade heat of environmental thermal energy sources, for example water of natural water reservoirs into mechanical work, high-grade heat and cold."

And when we read the patent application, we find that actually the turbine does NOT run on atmospheric pressure – it requires compressed air. This is clearly indicated even in the article by Kondrashov posted by Goldes on his flimflam website. Kondrashov says:

"To create a sample of such an engine, you can use ready-made devices, such as a load-bearing element – a low-power turbine module turboshaft turbine engine, and to compress the air… any type of compressor…"

Apr 16, 2014
Kondrashov indicates that an external compressor must be used to fill the turbine's compressed air tank before the turbine can be started. But he tries to pretend that once the turbine starts to spin, there will be no further reliance on the external compressor – the spinning turbine itself will compress the air that is making the turbine spin. So despite his own false description of the turbine as making use of "low-grade atmospheric energy," what Kondrashov actually presents in his patent application is a perpetual motion machine in the form of a self-powered air compressor. This is probably the reason why no patent was awarded. It is exactly analogous to trying to use a generator to power a motor to spin the generator to power the motor to spin the generator. It doesn't work.


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