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Deep decarbonisation: The climate action that can save us

Deep decarbonisation: The climate action that can save us

Climate change is only too real and does not escape our eyes and ears anymore. Even if the average person does not know the complicated theories behind the concept, the drastic temperature rise is not fooling anyone. Owing to Bangladesh's economic status in comparison to the big actors of the world, the country relies heavily on the mercy of massive polluters to fulfil their commitments to the Paris Agreement on climate change and halt temperature rise under two degrees Celsius within this century.

At the heart of all this, the Paris Agreement calls for much greater ambition from all countries—both developing and developed—in adopting drastic measures to reduce carbon emissions. Scientists and scholars have identified two pathways to achieve the Paris Agreement targets, and one of the most efficient, though little practiced, pathways is "deep decarbonisation".

Deep decarbonisation refers to the drastic reduction or elimination of carbon dioxide from energy sources. In numbers, that would mean a country reducing its emissions by half every decade, e.g. the United States has to halve its carbon emissions from roughly 5.29 metric tonnes in 2016 to 2.5 metric tons by 2026, and keep slashing emissions by half every decade to reach net-zero emissions by 2070. Sounds crazy? Well, it is.

Today's energy economy around the world is powered by the combustion of some sort of fossil fuel, emitting greenhouse gases like nitrogen and water vapour, into the atmosphere. The dominant combustion product—carbon dioxide or CO2 gas—is particularly harmful. If CO2 in the atmosphere rises, temperatures will increase. According to the latest available official statistics, China's CO2 emissions have risen from 3.3 billion metric tonnes in 2000 to 9.5 metric tonnes in 2016, making it the world's worst polluter.

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