Science Express - Energy solutions to halt global warming - Ralph Sims
5 June 2008,
Professor Ralph Sims discusses New Zealand’s role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
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Recorded on 5 June 2008, in Espresso Cafe. For technical reasons, the first few minutes are missing on this recording.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirms that stabilising atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHG) at around 450 ppm (parts per million) of carbon dioxide equivalent will be necessary to avoid increasing mean global temperatures by more than the 2 degrees Celsius. If this is achieved, global GHG emissions will peak around 2015. But based on the current acceleration of GHG emissions, this is a daunting task and over-shooting the target is likely.
What is required is a reduction of emissions to 50 per cent of current levels by 2050. But International Energy Agency analysis shows that to achieve this will require a massive uptake of low carbon technologies – starting now. Are we running out of time? How can New Zealand best play a part?
This Science Express evening coincides with the 2008 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) World Environment Day celebrations in Wellington and features speaker Professor Ralph Sims.
Professor Ralph Sims is currently based at the Renewable Energy Unit of the International Energy Agency in Paris. He is Professor of Sustainable Energy at Massey University, New Zealand, where he began his research career testing bio-fuels in the 1970s. He was the co-ordinating author of the ‘Energy Supply’ chapter of the fourth IPCC Assessment Report. Professor Sims is member of the focus group for the forthcoming IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy, Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Engineers, and Companion of the Royal Society. He has served on the Energy Efficiency Board, the Conservation Authority, and the Rio Tinto New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Advisory Board.
> More about Professor Ralph Sims
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