Due to the corona crisis, there has been a dip in CO2 emissions of 7% in The Netherlands. An unprecedented decrease in such a short time, but this decrease is temporary. We are still heading for global warming of more than 2 degrees, as shown in the figure below.
A crisis is always a reason to see if we can do it differently. On the basis of current plans, the UN organization UNEP has reached a temperature increase of 3.2%. The starting point is that the current climate plans are implemented.
The corona crisis offers the opportunity to make other choices. If we reduce emissions by a quarter compared to 2015, we can achieve the set target of a maximum temperature increase of 2°C. Fortunately, 126 countries, accounting for more than half of the total CO2 emissions, have already pledged to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. If the new president of the United States participates, this will even increase to 63%. Now it is unfortunately easier to commit to something in the long term than to do something in the short term. The Netherlands is one of the best examples of this worldwide. No country in the EU scores as poorly as the Netherlands when it comes to achieving the sustainable energy goals.
What can you do as a citizen? Transport, housing and food are the three major sources of emissions. It is special to see that the emissions of the poor half of the EU residents fell by a quarter from 1990 to 2015, while the CO2 emissions of the richest 10% increased by 3%. This is mainly due to more flying and driving.
All in all, it will be quite a challenge to limit the temperature rise to 2 degrees. One of the spearheads of CCS is green gas and duckweed proteins. We make our contribution with these innovations.
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17 December 2020 / Author: Dr. Ir. René Cornelissen