The Earth’s average temperature is predicted to rise by 1.8-4C (3.2-7.2F) during this century, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report.
Hang on ! There is now a new initiative to help us all and it is called Kyoto2. It offers a structure for a new Climate Protocol after the existing Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.The key features of Kyoto2 are:
* Abandon the country-based system for regulating greenhouse gas emissions created by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and replace it with a unified global system.
* In the case of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, assess the emissions at the point of fossil fuel production according to the global warming potential of the fuel in question, so requiring the necessary Rights to be held by fossil fuel producing companies.
* Apply the funds raised from the emissions rights auction, which could easily achieve $500 billion – $1 trillion to per year, to tackling both the causes and the consequences of climate change.
It was at the point of rights where I started to get confused. There is more on this whole area at http://www.kyoto2.org
I’m sure that what is being suggested here makes sense to those that wish to negotiate and eventually transpose each element into practical policies.
However, I did a little research to find some practical and immediate steps that we can all help.
The car you drive could be the most important personal climate decision.
When you buy your next car, look for the one with the best fuel economy in its class. Each gallon of gas you use releases 25 pounds of heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Better gas mileage not only reduces global warming, but will also save you at the pump over the life of the vehicle. Compare the fuel economy of the cars you’re considering and look for new technologies like hybrid engines.
Look for the Energy Star.
When it comes time to replace appliances, look for the Energy Star label on new appliances For example, refrigerators, freezers and increasing in the UK air -conditioners. These items may cost a bit more initially, but the energy savings will pay back the extra investment within a couple of years.
Light bulbs matter.
Regular light bulbs can be replaced with an energy-saving model
Think before you drive.
If you own more than one vehicle, use the less fuel-efficient one only when you can fill it with passengers.
Buy good wood.
When buying wood products, check for labels that indicate the source of the timber. Supporting forests that are managed in a sustainable fashion makes sense for biodiversity, and it may make sense for the climate too. Forests that are well managed are more likely to store carbon effectively because more trees are left standing and carbon-storing soils are less disturbed. You can also make a difference in your own garden.
Finally, let our policymakers know you are concerned about global warming.
Our elected officials and business leaders need to hear from concerned citizens. We need to work together to help the situation, especially as politicians may consider that a tax is all we need rather than an initiative with a solid drive.