So What Are Our Elected Representatives Missing Here?
Two recent authoritative reports, the Fifth Assessment Reportfrom the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Third National Climate Assessmentfrom the U.S. Global Change Research Program, confirm that we are facing “a global commons problem”. Both reports note that achieving lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will require substantial decarbonisation of the global economy, which in in turn will mean a fundamental transformation of the global energy system.
The U.S. report noted that carbon dioxide accounted for 84% of their country’s GHG emissions in 2011, with the vast majority of this resulting from energy use. Liquid fuels (petroleum) accounted for 41% of this amount with solid fuels, coal and natural gas being the next biggest contributors.