The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has released a global temperature analysis that finds 2016 is on track to be one of the hottest years on record, even surpassing 2014 and 2015. Recent data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have also shown upward trends in temperature as well as carbon dioxide, that according to the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) are nearing the symbolic limits on which the Paris Agreement reached at COP21 were based.
“These latest findings clearly outline the need for signatories of the Paris Agreement to take all available steps to significantly reduce their national emissions without delay,” responded Bliss Baker, GRFA President to NASA’s temperature analysis. “The current potential for the increased use of biofuels, like ethanol, in the global transport sector represents substantial CO2 emission reductions that aren’t being fully exploited.”
Baker says that biofuel technologies are demonstrated to be affordable, immediately available and effective at reducing GHG emissions. Baker cites that in 2014, total GHG emissions reduction from global ethanol production and use was 169 million tonnes CO2 equivalent. With a conservative annual biofuel production growth rate of just 2.8 percent, emissions savings from ethanol would increase 56 percent to 264 million tonnes CO2 equivalent in 2030.
NASA’s recent temperature analysis followed data released in July 2016 that demonstrated the average global temps in the first six months of the year were Celsius 1.3 degrees hotter than the pre-industrial era. Baker points out that these readings contrast sharply with the main aim of the Paris Agreement: to keep global temperature rise “well below” 2 degrees Celsius, with an aspirational target of 1.5 degrees Celsius, above pre-industrial levels this century.
“It is clear that changes to the global climate are occurring faster than was predicted when the timelines for the negotiations at COP21 were established,” Baker added. “The potential for the increased use of biofuels in the global transport sector, using the existing fleet of cars and fuel infrastructure, represents exactly the kind of immediate action to achieve emissions reductions that is demanded by these changing circumstances.“