Projections and Agreements on Climate Change: Talk by David Victor

Dr. David Victor of UCSD gave the Reeburgh Lecture at UC Irvine on December 10, 2014.  It was titled “Getting Serious About International Cooperation on Climate Change”.  This is a listing of some of his main points. The talk will be on the UCI Physical Sciences website.

Negotiations on greenhouse gases have not been effective.

Initial Kyoto signers would have covered 59% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Those that stayed in the accord covered only 23%. The 2011 renewal only covered 13% of emissions.

Continuing as usual will result in 3-4 degrees C of warming by 2100.

We would need 80% reduction in emissions to keep warming to only 2 degrees C above pre-industrial times. This is just not possible.

Analysts love markets such as cap and trade or taxes

Politicians love regulations that hide the costs.

California cap and trade has achieved only18% of desired reductions. Regulations will do the rest.

Agreements must be flexible to allow for national implementation strategies.

Globalization is good for climate policy, since it spreads technology.  For example, the best power plants are used around the world.

It is easy for a country to outsource manufacturing and emissions to achieve its emission goals. Great Britain is an example.

The San Francisco Bay Bridge was built from parts manufactured in Asia.

Climate policy for GHG reduction also reduces black carbon and sulfur dioxide pollution.

The best agreements come from “clubs” of countries. It is easier to make a deal in a smaller group.  For example, the recent US-China agreement.

GHG reduction will be a long, slow process.  Significant warming will still occur. We will be forced to over adapt.

Climate change problems lead to security issues.

Russia may want some warming for a longer growing season.  Saudi Arabia want us to fail in limiting fossil fuels.

Poor societies don’t have money to adapt, while rich societies do. Poor societies will suffer.

 

 

 

 

 

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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