greenhouse gas emissions
global warming and climate change
how certain in all this?
how are companies affected?
Human interference with the climate system is occurring, and climate change poses risks for human and natural systems
That is the conclusion of hundreds of scientists from the latest five year global report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability - Assessing and managing the risks of climate change In: IPCC WGII AR5 Summary for Policymakers http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/)
What are greenhouse gas emissions?
Greenhouse gases – like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, ozone and water vapour – in the atmosphere absorb heat, and thus increase atmospheric temperatures and cause global warming.
Carbon dioxide equivalent, or CO2e, is a standard unit for measuring carbon footprints, based on the relative global warming potential of different greenhouse gases.
Antarctic ice core data show that in pre-industrial eras atmospheric CO2 concentration was around 280 parts per million (ppm). (Palaeoclimate. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/).
Since industrialisation in the last 200 years, the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere has risen - from 300 ppm in 1900, to 313 ppm in 1960, 375 ppm in 2005, and exceeded 400 ppm in 2013 (Atmospheric. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/ ).
It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century, according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. UN IPCC graphs shows the increase in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere over time (Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/)
What is global warming and climate change?
Global warming - warming of the climate system - is unequivocal, accroding to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis - http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/)
Since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.
Global warming causes climate change, such as increased severity and frequency of heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones, and wildfires.
Impacts of such climate-related extremes include alteration of ecosystems, disruption of food production and water supply, damage to infrastructure and settlements, morbidity and mortality, and consequences for mental health and human well-being.
Climate-related hazards affect especially people living in poverty directly - through impacts on livelihoods, reductions in crop yields, or destruction of homes and indirectly through, for example, increased food prices and food insecurity.
How certain is all this?
Any uncertinities are:
due to the amazing complexity of our earth’s climate system
about whether mankind will fight to reduce global warming - or continue with business-as-usual
What we know for sure is:
a certain degree of global warming has already happened and is unavoidable, even if we managed to stop our carbon emissions today
the worst case scenarios for the majority of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientists’ predictions have been exceeded - in every 5 year IPCC Assessment Report over the 25 years they have been producing these wide ranging and detailed assessments
that is because the world has continued on a business-as-usual basis
which is why we urgently need to decarbonize our economy
How are companies affected?
All economic sectors ...
contribute to the cause of climate change - through greenhouse gas emissions from their own operations, and through their supply chain, upstream and downstream
are affected by the consequences of climate change - through more extreme weather events affecting business risks, continuity and costs
can help to solve global warming – through innovation transforming their business model; inventing, early investing in or installing new low carbon technologies; changing behaviours of their staff, suppliers, and customers ....
To find out how your company can help the transformation to a sustainable low carbon economy contact us