Lecture by Prof. Miranda Schreurs at TAU

During her visit to TAU, Prof. Miranda Schreurs from the Technical University of Munich gave a lecture on the prospects of Climate Change Policies worldwide post the 2015 Paris Summit (COP21). The world might be in a more dangerous place than it ever was, but there is still hope for some positive changes, especially if proper policy is applied worldwide. The global annual carbon dioxide emissions is compared to pre-industrial times in the framework of climate change and that is where the world is fully failing in fighting climate change. Industrial revolution is regarded as the start of climate change, increasing significantly after WWII. Negative emissions have to be implemented in order to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.If nothing is done - the change in average surface temperature can reach 9-10 celsius in some areas, which would also increase natural disasters and precipitation. Policy-wise the world needs to agree on strengthening their Paris targets. But one of the complicated aspects is that it is not a legal agreement, it is a pledge. The currently applied policies will result in an approximate 3.2 degrees celsius change of surface temperature. The top 6 countries that emit the most add up to into 70.1% of all global emissions. In order to fulfill the SGDs the world would need to get rid of oil coal and gas in the next 30 years, according to the Paris Protocol (2015) as well as renew Nationally Determined Contributions after 5 years of operations, keeping temperature increase below 2c and strive for 1.5 and increasing aid towards 100 billion USD to LEDCs. The aim of the Madrid COP25 conference in 2019 was to Finalise the rule book for Fighting Climate Change. As was established one of the biggest challenges is the Article 6 of the Paris Protocol - as there are problems deciding on rules for carbon market mechanisms & transparency. It was further stated that the 1.5 degree increase is very likely by 2030-2050. The European Energy Commissions set a target to reduce emissions by 85-90%, improve Eenergy efficiency in the form of net zero emissions buildings, increase renewables for the more efficient use of electricity and use the circular economy concept. There are quite a few initiatives that have to deal with policy that are posing hope to the question of Climate change. The Green New Deal for Europe as a whole for example agreed on Climate Neutrality by 2050, just exempting Poland from the agreement due to a high supply and use of coal, hence it has to work at its’ own pace. The United States has lost its leadership for Climate Change, so the European Union steps in. For example, the Dutch government has been ruled by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands to further cut its’ emissions in order to protect its’ citizens. This instance will impact court cases and policy implications all over the world in regards to climate change and therefore, there is still hope.