煤王的气候挑战

华盛顿—在最近正在华沙进行的联合国气候变化谈判中,煤炭成为对话的主要话题之一——确实应该如此。事实上,世界正需要这样一场讨论。

政府间气候变化委员会(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,IPCC)的最新发现表明,我们正在快速耗尽我们的碳“预算”——在仍有很大机会将全球变暖程度控制在2摄氏度以内的情况下可以排放的碳量。据IPCC的数据,将全球气温在前工业化水平基础上升高幅度限制在这一阈值之下意味着全世界只能排放大约1 000十亿吨碳(GtC)。超过这一阈值,气候变化就可能大大超过控制能力。到2011年,我们已经排放了一大半的碳量。除非我们很快减少碳密集行为,否则剩余预算将会在大约三十年内耗尽。

在可忍受二氧化碳排放量这个问题上,煤炭是预算毁灭者。就在本周,一个由27位著名科学家组成代表五大洲的团体发布了一份联合声明,指出把所有已知化石燃料储备烧尽将产生3 800十亿吨的二氧化碳,或1 053GtC,其中煤炭占了一大半。简言之,如果世界按当前技术烧尽已知碳储备,就可能将全球气温升高远不止2℃。

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