Is climate changing?
Yes. The climate is changing. The science behind the climate chage has continued to be stressed in the last few years. Scientists are now more certain that the global warming is the reason behind the climate changes. And many people are aware that the global warming is caused by human activities, which have rapidly increased the consentration of GHGs in the atmosphere around the globe. We are also well informed that the consumption of fossil fuels is the main source of GHGs emissions. Given that, the next that we want to know is, how much CO2 we have to reduce to stop the global warming and avoid the serious climate changes?
60% of CO2 reduction in developed nations and 25% world wide are needed.
At the EU summit held in 2005, it was agreed that the global mean temperature should not rise beyond 2 degrees celcius* above the average temperature prevailing before the industrial revolution, to avoid serious impacts on natural ecosystem and human species. This requires the stabilization of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere between 450-550ppm. And this in turn, requires 60% of CO2 emission reduction in developed nations and 25% world wide. Scientists consider this target to be 80% in the long run. Recent studies state or imply that unless we take every possible action, the globe will be reaching the "Point of No return" where climate change would be far beyond our experience.
*The global mean temperature has risen by 0.74 degrees celcius in the last 100 years, and it is expected to rise by 1.1 to 6.4 degrees in the next 100 years.
CO2 emissions keep on rising in Japan.
It is required to make a quick and robust GHGs reductions to save our planet for the next generations. In Japan, governments and industries have been working on GHGs reductions to some extent to achieve Kyoto target of 6% reduction below the 1990 level. However, GHGs emissions have increased to 8% above the 1990 level by 2004. This means that Japan has to reduce GHGs by 14% during the first committment period of 2008-2012. Emission increase by energy use has risen by 13% since 1990. Looking at this increase at sectoral level, industry is the only sector that has reduced the emissions (by -3.2% below 1990 level), and other sectors such as transportation, service, and household have continued to increase by 18.1%, 42.2%, and 34.7% respectively.
CO2 and our life style.
Apart from 40% of total emission by industry, it is clear that the increase in the rest of the sectors is directly associated with our life style. In the household sector, for example, home appliances such as air-conditiones, TVs, computesr, and growing size of refagerators have caused a great increase in electricity consumption (i.e. motive power demand has increased by 36% since 1979). The average household had just 1-2 TV sets in the 1970's, while nowadays we have average of 2-3 sets. Almost half of the households had no air-conditioner in the 1970's, while nowadays we have 2-3 sets on average. We enjoy convenient services at the sacrifice of CO2 emissions. It is therefore necessary that we shift our carbon-intensitve life style to less-intensive one.