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We endeavour to encourage and publish research on an ongoing basis. As such, we are producing a series of working papers. Feel free to contact us if you would like to develop a working paper on a specific area or would like any information about the research already published. 

 

 
Greenhouse Gas Removal Briefing Paper 1

Greenhouse Gas Removal Briefing Paper

By Harriet Harthan and Anthony Lindley

1. Background

With increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increasingly severe climate impacts across the world in the form of droughts, floods, forest fires and desertification (among others), the urgency to address climate change has never been greater. 

Whilst climate change mitigation solutions are critically important (including reducing emissions by transitioning to renewable energy, deploying energy efficiency and halting deforestation), science has shown that mitigation alone will not be enough to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  

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The need for Climate Repair: A plan for surviving and thriving

'The need for Climate Repair: A plan for  surviving and thriving'

By Professor Sir David King* and Dr. Jane Lichtenstein

It is 1998; we are at the ancient coastal site of Poliochne, said by some to be Europe’s oldest democracy; we remember Homeric descriptions of ships taking warriors to battle, and we look across the sea towards Troy. We realise that this town, Poliochne, existed more than a thousand years before the Trojan wars happened[1]. We ponder the continuity of human settlement, effort, civilisation and culture. We discuss how much was made possible by the stability of coastlines. Ancient peoples stood where we are standing, facing their destiny and getting on with building their lives, without fear that rising tides would sweep their stone city away. We, humanity, are the beneficiaries of those thousands of years of global coastal stability, and the building, learning and continuity it has allowed. Can we offer our descendants anything like this? Are we willing to try?

Faced with accelerating global impacts of Climate Change, this article shows how our planet and human civilisation can still win back the chance of surviving and thriving.  

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*This article is based Sir David King’s speech of 12th November 2020: the Coventry Lord Mayor’s Peace Lecture 2020, entitled ‘Climate change our common future: the challenge and the way forward’.

[1] The earliest stone wall ruins of the houses and streets at Poliochne date from around 3200 BCE, probably before the foundation of Troy (Kyriakopoulou, 2012). The Trojan wars were just before 1000 BCE; the ancient Turkish site at Hissarlik is thought to be ancient Troy’s location.

Moral Hazard or Moral Duty? Climate Repair

By Robert Chris and Shaun Fitzgerald

The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6)1 shows human activity warming the climate at a rate unprecedented at least in the last 2,000 years. Each of the last four decades has been successively warmer than any prior decade since 1850, and since 2011, average temperature rise is 1.6oC and 0.9oC over land and ocean respectively.  Human-induced climate change is recognised ‘with high confidence’ as the main cause of the now routine extreme weather events on every continent. Even under low emissions scenarios delivering the target limit of 1.5oC average global warming will be demanding and temperatures may continue rising into the next century. Within the next fifty years sea level is expected to rise about 2 metres if current emissions levels continue.  These changes are being driven by radical and rapid increases of the three most important greenhouse gases (GHGs) in our atmosphere.  Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration is at its highest for two million years, with methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) at an 800,000 year high.  Averting irreversible instabilities in multiple ecosystems and their potentially disastrous effects on humanity requires that the levels of these GHGs be significantly reduced.

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