Global Investor

Spending climate

Nalinakanthi V | Updated on March 12, 2018

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Investing to curb greenhouse gases



Scientists fear that the glaciers casing Mt Everest are melting at an unprecedented pace, thanks to changes in climate due to global warming. What causes this? Green house gas (GHG) emissions by the energy sector are the key culprit, as per the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). GHGs are atmospheric gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, which absorb and emit radiation. The emission of these gases leads to a rise in the earth’s temperature. The IPCC report details the various sectors that contribute to GHG emissions. Energy generation including electricity, heat production and other sources tops the list, accounting for over 35 per cent of the GHG emissions.

While coal plants or cars on the roads are what comes to our minds when we think of emissions, ‘green’ sectors such as farming account for almost 24 per cent of the total GHG emissions. There is carbon dioxide from agriculture, forestry and other land uses, such as forest fire, peat fire and peat decay. Industry (21 per cent) and transport (14 per cent) have been identified as the other major contributors of GHGs.

Economic prosperity and population growth have been the two key factors responsible for higher carbon dioxide emissions globally from fossil fuel combustion. Assuming no additional measures to reduce GHG emissions beyond the ones currently in place, the baseline scenario indicates that the mean surface temperature may increase between 3.7 and 4.8 degree Celsius by 2100, compared to the period before 1750.

The report estimates that developed countries have mobilised $213-255 billion annually during 2010 and 2011 for managing climate change. Developing countries are estimated to have mobilised $120-141 billion.

Published on April 27, 2014

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