We’ll be writing on the True Cost of Food and Farming conference we attended in London in December but before we do here’s the keynote speech from another crucial event: Radical Emission Reduction Conference by the Tyndall Centre (10th – 11th December 2013). Here’s how they framed the event:
The Climate Change Context
With large-scale impacts of climate change becoming discernable from the background of natural variability, so concern is rising over the global community’s failure to control emissions. The International Energy Agency (IEA) captures this pivotal moment in history, when noting that “The current state of affairs is unacceptable … energy-related CO2 emissions are at historic highs” and emission trends are “perfectly in line with a temperature increase of 6 degrees Celsius, which would have devastating consequences for the planet”. In similar vein PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC), the UK Government chief scientist and a growing body of academics and researchers are allying current emission trends with 4°C to 6°C futures.
Why Radical Mitigation (i.e. emission reductions)?
Today, in 2013, we face an unavoidably radical future. We either continue with rising emissions and reap the radical repercussions of severe climate change, or we acknowledge that we have a choice and pursue radical emission reductions: No longer is there a non-radical option. Moreover, low-carbon supply technologies cannot deliver the necessary rate of emission reductions – they need to be complemented with rapid, deep and early reductions in energy consumption – the rationale for this conference.