The alarming new weather report means that fossil fuel consumption has fallen, and should start soon

ExxonMobil oil refiner in Thorns, California. (Michael Owen Baker / The Times)

The World Climate Report, released Monday, provides an important reminder to reduce fossil fuels. Only by 2050 will many corporations promise to stop burning the planet, but in the next few years.

Scientists say that in order to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change, global warming will need to be reduced to zero in the Middle Ages. But there is a big gap between the many companies that have pledged to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and the new report makes clear that urgent action is needed.

“You can’t reach those goals without going to work now,” said Kim Cob, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology. There is a mountain of change between where we are and where we should be.

Cobb was the lead author of a recent report on climate change in East Africa. Hundreds of researchers have contributed to the transfer of power, which California residents are well aware of. An earlier report on UN-sponsored science said the world should cut carbon emissions by half by 2030 and halve by half a century.

Most climate pollution comes from burning coal, oil and natural gas. Rapid efforts to reduce dependence on those fuels will have significant benefits for people in California and throughout the western United States, Cob said. She pointed to the huge wildfires and ocean acidity that are beginning to destroy marine ecosystems. Governments and businesses are already experiencing limited but limited climate consequences.

“The more we release emissions on the gas, the more damage we do,” Coben said.

A.D. The list of companies that have pledged zero emissions by 2050 includes European oil major BP and LL, American Airlines, cement manufacturer Semex and food giant Nestle. A similar deal has been reported with the Texas-based Exxon Mobile, which has been aware of its role in global warming since the 1970s.

According to experts, such promises may be helpful, but they are not enough. And many environmentalists have made it a little more than a marketing tool for companies trying to improve the environment.

On August 5, 2021, a flame from Dixie engulfed a house on Highway 89, Southern Highway, California.

On August 5, 2021, a flame from Dixie engulfed a house on Highway 89, Southern Highway, California. (Noah Burger / Associated Press)

Jonathan Foley, a climate scientist who is leading Project Drabid, has two problems with net zero goals. The first is difficult to measure. Technically, “net zero” means more carbon emissions than they emit from the atmosphere, but Foley said this will leave more room for companies to ease the numbers.

Another problem is the schedule. Fole said he is more interested in what companies are doing now to reduce pollution.

What are your goals for 2021 or 2022? And who is responsible for that? He asked.

That could be a difficult question for the oil and gas industry to answer. The Paris-based International Energy Agency Unfounded report Zero-emission emissions in the Middle Ages this year will mean immediate quest for new fossil fuels. That is in direct conflict with the industry’s long-term business model.

“The best way to become zero in this business is to shut down,” says Foley.

The actual process of cutting fossil fuels seems to be very different in different sectors of the economy – none of them, at least in the United States, add more carbon to the atmosphere than transportation.

Car manufacturers, including Ford and Nissan, are planning to hit zero by 2050 with General Motors and Volvo. Due to pressure from regulators and international regulators, the car industry has decided to invest hundreds of dollars in electricity. Vehicles and other clean technologies, including hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

But if consumers don’t get up – or if the companies have a change of heart, those obligations could change.

Three of America’s biggest cars stand with President Biden last week. The industry has once backtracked on a climate deal with President Obama.

John Lower, managing director of Alxpartner Consulting, said the next thing that happens is mostly on drivers.

“If we hit these targets, it’s up to the consumer, the consumer,” he said.

Los Angeles traffic jams.

Los Angeles traffic jams. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

But what people want to buy is mainly based on how the government solves major issues with electric vehicles: anxiety, lack of familiarity and prices, which are still falling and are higher than petrol cars.

He hopes California will provide research for the rest of the country, and all new cars and light trucks sold should be zero by 2035. It is distributed over a number of difficult-to-understand programs, and funding often ends, forcing people to wait months for their checks. Federal tax credits are also declining and are more helpful to high-income buyers.

“What we really want is to get everyone’s attention, to get everyone involved,” said Daniel Springling, a former California air quality controller at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. This is urgent.

Electricity is the country’s second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and, like many other sectors of the economy — including transportation and home heating – is a critical sector of the rapid transition from fossil fuels to electricity.

The list of utility companies that expect net zero emissions or 100% pure energy by 2050 includes several large Dominion Energy, Duke Energy and Southern companies, as well as San Diego-based Sempara (Southern California Gas Company and San parent company). Diego Gas and Electric) and the Ohio-based U.S. Electric Power and First Energy Corporation

“Electricity is one area that I feel very good about,” says Foley. Wind and sun are a great way to make money.

But many utility companies still build coal-fired power stations, one of the worst sources of pollution, and in some cases plan to stay afloat for decades. A.D. A recent study by Princeton University on the options for achieving net zero emissions by 2050: In every case, by 2030, coal is “all gone” and natural gas should probably be reduced by this decade, perhaps by 30% — the opposite. By building a new gas plant with a number of utility companies.

President Biden wants the country to have 100% electricity from climate-friendly sources by 2035. Scientists say it is possible, but asking companies to succeed may be based on the voice of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin.

California law requires energy companies to reach 100% clean energy by 2045. Gav Gavin Newsom acknowledged that the deadline was inadequate and that the administration had not yet taken action.

Some experts say that if the pressure on businesses continues – there will be optimism not only from the government but also from workers, customers and investors. Even insurance companies are taking climate change seriously.

When completed, Westland Solar Park, one of the world's largest renewable energy sources.

Upon completion, the Westland Solar Park, one of the world’s largest renewable energy facilities, is under construction in California’s San Joaquin Valley in July 2021. (Caroline Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Michael Vandenberg, a law professor at Vanderbilt University, says 40 percent of the country’s 400 largest companies are committed to climate change in the coming decades.

“I do not want to underestimate the importance of government,” he said. The way to evaluate private sector action is not whether it is the perfect solution or the solution to the problem, but whether the government can fill the gaps to do what it needs to do.

Companies in the technology and retail industry led the pack. Microsoft By 2030, it intends to move not only from carbon-neutral but also from carbon-negative, which means it will emit more carbon from the atmosphere than it does – a term that is based on a large emphasis on carbon holding technologies. Apple has promised that the entire supply chain will be carbon-free by 2030.

Walmart, the country’s largest retailer. It has promised to eliminate emissions by 2040 by 2020, and has been working to help cut off carbon from a large network of suppliers since 2017. Amazon Two years ago, he promised to eliminate carbon emissions by zero in response to a massive labor strike that called for the goal to be achieved by 2030.

But such goals do not always lead to the short-term development that scientists believe is so important. For example, with Amazon’s growing demand during the epidemic, it has significantly increased emissions by 2020 by using 69% more fossil fuels for its own delivery networks and a 30% increase in new equipment and third-party transportation.

Cynthia Kumis, who works with the private sector to set emissions reduction goals, says she has been encouraged by more than 1,600 companies that have pledged to meet climate change goals. Pfizer, Sony and Visa.

He said that now we need to see if the commitments lead to proven goals and lead to real success.

Unless companies start reducing emissions now, climate advocates will be skeptical of the 2050 promises. Last week, Oxfam International, a non-profit non-profit organization, released a report identifying zero targets:

Experts say that with government and industry in mind, there is now a great deal of potential to reduce pollution.

One of the major methane is pipeline, oil and gas extraction, land reservoirs and livestock, and other sources, especially planet-heated gas. It disperses more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere but holds more energy temporarily, and the Earth panel is the focus of a recent report on climate change.

“By 2050, we will be in a very different position,” he said. According to the general report, the risks are increasing with each increase in temperature. If you do not increase that temperature, you will have a significant reduction in that risk. That’s really the bottom line. “

This story first appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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