Climate protection: Only time until 2020?

IPCC: Climate change otherwise irreversible

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It could become scarce for climate protection: According to estimates by the IPCC experts, efficient climate protection technologies and clear measures must be taken within the next 15 years if one wants to be irreversible Prevent climate catastrophe yet.


The third part of the World Climate Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is not even officially released, as it is already making headlines. Both "Spiegel Online" and the "Financial Times Deutschland" seem to have gained insight into the preliminary draft of the report's summary. He will be officially released on May 3, 2007 in Bangkok. It focuses less on the hard facts of measurable climate events, but on the individual sectors of the economy and their contribution to climate change.

$ 16 trillion for climate protection technologies

The report indicates that greenhouse gas emissions, if not significantly reduced by 2020, could trigger almost irreversible processes such as the melting of Greenland ice or the acidification of the oceans. Therefore, according to climate experts, at least $ 16 trillion should be invested in low-carbon technologies by 2030. Not only the industrialized countries, but also the emerging markets are in demand. After all, they too have an increasing share in the emission of greenhouse gases.

Drastic reductions until 2015

At present, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is around 383 ppm (particles per million air molecules), rising by around 2.5 ppm annually. In order to at least slow down climate change, according to the experts, the concentration must be frozen at a maximum of 420 ppm - a goal that can only be achieved with rapid and drastic measures. The scientists cite several studies, according to which by 2015, in some cases also by 2012, the greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 48 to 86 percent compared to the year 200. Only such a "full braking" could save humanity even before a climate collapse. display

Methane and nitrous oxide in the sights

However, it is not just CO2 that is at the center of climate protection efforts. In the opinion of the climate experts, other greenhouse gases will have to be considered far more into reduction scenarios in the future. In a "multi-gas strategy" also the emission of nitrous oxide, methane and other climate-effective gases should be contained. In contrast to carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are mainly from agriculture, while nitrogen fertilization and livestock farming increase their emissions. However, methane is also increasingly released as the permafrost soils of the Arctic thaw - a classic positive feedback process, which is precisely this thawing is already underway thanks to global warming.

(Spiegel, dpa, FTD, 23.02.2007 - NPO)