Delaying Climate Action Is More Costly: Study

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Another day, another study on why delaying action on climate change is not a good thing.

Hurricane Sandy Overflight via US Cost Guard / Some Rights Reserved

Reuters reported yesterday that a newly published report in Nature finds that an international price on carbon at $20 per ton now would give close to a 60% chance of cutting global warming below 2°C. This would also help to limit the worst effects of global warming, including: rising sea levels, floods, droughts, and severe heat.

“If you delay action by 10, 20 years you significantly reduce the chances of meeting the 2 degree target,” said one of the authors of the report from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Keywan Riahi in Austria said.

That compares to a $100 per ton carbon price in 2020 to keep the same 60% chance of capping the 2°C or less temperature increase.

Meanwhile, it would be nearly impossible to keep temperatures below 2°C by 2030 regardless what price there would be on carbon.

“The window for effective action on climate change is closing quickly,” mentioned Steve Hatfield-Dodds from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in a separate section in Nature.

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The study took into consideration 500 computer models of various scenarios, which were analyzed by experts from other countries, including Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Australia. It also recommended more environmentally sustainable polices to improve attempts to achieve the 2°C limit, as Reuters reports:

“And fighting climate change would be easier with certain new technologies, such as capturing and burying carbon emissions from power plants and factories. In some scenarios, the 2C goal could not be met unless carbon capture was adopted.”

Given Hurricane Sandy, and increasing costs of extreme weather, now would be a good time to act on carbon pricing.

Source: Reuters

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Adam Johnston

is expected to complete the Professional Development Certificate in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto by December 2017. Adam recently completed his Social Media Certificate from Algonquin College Continuing & Online Learning. Adam also graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications in 2011. Adam owns a part-time tax preparation business. He also recently started up Salay Consulting and Social Media services, a part-time business which provides cleantech writing, analysis, and social media services. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or check out his business

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