These Are the Toughest Emissions to Cut, and a Big Chunk of the Climate Problem
By Nicholas Kusnetz, Inside Climate News
Without improvements in shipping, cement and steel, major sources of greenhouse gas pollution will be locked in for generations, new research shows.
Efforts to tackle climate change typically focus on boosting renewable energy or using cleaner, more efficient cars, but there’s an entire realm of the economy they’re largely ignoring — one that accounts for about a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions.
These other sources of climate pollution include industrial processes and long-haul shipping, and cutting their emissions will prove particularly difficult.
Taken together, these hard-to-cut sources accounted for 27 percent of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industrial sources, according to a paper written by more than 30 leading climate scientists and published Thursday in the journal Science. What’s more, as global trade and construction continue to grow, the scientists warn that absolute emissions from these sources could eventually equal the current total level of global emissions.
“If we want to get to a net zero energy system this century, we really need to be scaling up alternatives now,” said Steven J. Davis, an earth systems scientist at the University of California, Davis and the study’s lead author…