We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.” President Obama

My name is John Moorhead and I seek a better world for my and my children’s generation by supporting climate change action to keep us within 1.5° C warming (United Nations goal) as do billions of fellow earth citizens and the 195 countries that signed the Paris agreement.

I have co-written reports on the biggest private sector emitters of greenhouse-gases (direct and indirect) and their recent performance thanks to Thomson Reuters and CDP who made their data available. The idea was that by naming and constructively engaging with the biggest emitters that they would further reduce their emissions, in part, because of our reports (all co-written with Tim Nixon and Dr David Lubin, for the last 2 reports) that had put them in the spotlight. We will of course never know what impact our reports had and are having. However although greenhouse-gas emissions have stagnated from 2014 to 2016 carbon dioxide emissions most likely went up by 2% in 2017. and we have already seen 1° C warming.  There are many reasons why emissions have not gone down, an important one is that globally we subsidise instead of tax pollution. This energy subsidy (for fossil fuels largely) of $5.3 trillion in 2015 is equivalent to 6.5% of GDP is about 80% what is spent on health and 18 times what is spent on renewables.

Science Based Solutions (SBS)

Thanks to scientists such as Professor Rockström and his colleagues the required cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to stay within 1.5 and 2° C warming have been established. According to Rockström’s Carbon Law emissions need to halve each decade to get to net zero by 2050 to stay within 2° C and a further 600 gigatonnes (billion tonnes) of emissions need to be removed from the atmosphere to stay within 1.5° C. These are Science Based Targets. But how to reach these targets or even exceed them? Science Based Solutions such as Project Drawdown and Professor Jacobson’s 100% electrification by 100% renewables by 2050 are how.

Project Drawdown‘s 80 solutions in buildings,  transportation, energy, land use, materials and education would “Drawdown” or remove 590 million tonnes of emissions by 2050 and 100% electrification by 100% renewables achieves zero emissions by 2050. So both are considered Science Based Solutions (SBS) as they demonstrate how to achieve the Science Based Target (SBT). 

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and methane reduction as put forward by the fossil fuel industry does not fulfil the Carbon Law litmus test and therefore can not be considered as Science Based Solutions. They do not either fulfil another important Science Based Target which is that up to 80% of fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground to stay within 2° C warming.  The CCS of billions of buildings and vehicles’ emissions in the world that come from fossil fuel combustion is simply not possible.