Emissions Gap Report for the United States and Globally

Two posts are at the bottom of this one. Just talking about on-purpose emission of exhaust by pickup trucks which have had the emissions control devices altered. They did this to blow black exhaust out of their exhaust. This report on Treehugger is an update on how well the world is doing. Simple terms, it ain’t.

The goal with the implementation of conditional NDCs, plus additional net-zero commitments, was to achieve a 1.8°C rise. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP Inger Anderson in her foreword on the Emissions Gap detail reported “a 2.6°C increase in temperatures by 2100. This is far beyond planned goals. What policies in place point to a 2.8°C increase. Not enough of an effort is being the issue.

Emissions Gap Report Calls for Rapid Transformation of Societies,” (treehugger.com), Lloyd Alter.

Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), is blunt and brutal in her foreword to this year’s Emissions Gap report:

“This year’s report tells us that unconditional NDCs [nationally determined contributions] point to a 2.6°C increase in temperatures by 2100, far beyond the goals of the Paris Agreement. Existing policies point to a 2.8°C increase, highlighting a gap between national commitments and the efforts to enact those commitments. In the best-case scenario, full implementation of conditional NDCs, plus additional net-zero commitments, point to a 1.8°C rise. However, this scenario is currently not credible.”

Mind the Gaps, UNEP

The gaps are gaping between where we are, what we promised, and where we have to go. As for the promises made by individual countries—the NDCs—they are demonstrably not enough.

“Neither current policies nor NDCs currently trace a credible path from 2030 towards the achievement of national net-zero targets.”

Headlines about this report are dire. The Guardian picks up a quote from the Key Messages memo and writes, “Climate crisis: UN finds ‘no credible pathway to 1.5C in place’.” It is a phrase that doesn’t actually appear in the report and is taken out of context from the paragraph where it is found:

“As climate impacts intensify, the Emissions Gap Report 2022 finds that the world is still falling short of the Paris climate goals, with no credible pathway to 1.5°C in place. Only an urgent system-wide transformation can avoid an accelerating climate disaster. The report looks at how to deliver this transformation, through action in the electricity supply, industry, transport and buildings sectors, and the food and financial systems.”

It is such a weird phrasing because the whole report is about laying a credible path, albeit a difficult one. Once again, we know what we have to do; what’s missing is the will. Perhaps that’s why, in a press release, Inger Andersen says it is so dire:

“This report tells us in cold scientific terms what nature has been telling us, all year, through deadly floods, storms and raging fires: we have to stop filling our atmosphere with greenhouse gases and stop doing it fast. We had our chance to make incremental changes, but that time is over. Only a root-and-branch transformation of our economies and societies can save us from accelerating climate disaster.”

One of the most interesting charts in the report shows who is emitting the most. To nobody’s surprise, it is the rich and their lifestyles producing the most emissions which are growing the fastest. I have never seen numbers for the top 0.01%, and they are staggering.

AB: Going to look at the US because we are the dirtbags of the world when it comes to air pollution CO2. One-point-six percent of the US population numbering 2.8 million highest taxpaying households and having incomes greater than $500,000 annually create five times as much pollution than the next eight percent of the US population which number 15 million taxpaying households. Approximate numbers, the top 1.6 percent produce 50 times what the bottom 50% of taxpaying households produce. This can be calculated just from eyeballing the graph above.

Now look at China with its billions of people. It is an interesting graph and it is easy enough to tying various taxpaying households to it.

“The bottom 50 percent emit on average 1.6 tCO2e/capita and contribute 12 percent of the global total, whereas the top 1 percent emit on average 110 tCO2e/capita and contribute 17 percent of the total. Super-emitters in the top 0.1 percent (average 467 tCO2e/capita) and the top 0.01 percent (2,531 tCO2e/ capita) have seen the fastest growth in personal carbon footprints since 1990.”

Time for some major carbon taxes on private jets, fourth homes as well as other toys and luxuries.

AB: This paper goes on and it makes for an interesting read. Attached link for the original piece to read more. So have at it.

“‘Polluting the air we breathe’: Mechanic sentenced for selling thousands of devices that allowed trucks to bypass emissions controls,” Angry Bear, angry bear blog.

“Crushing an Owner’s Altered Emissions Pickup Truck,” Angry Bear, angry bear blog

“Climate chaos: notes on Interesting Stuff.” Angry Bear, angry bear blog.