CO2 budget 1.1 tn tons, & fossil-fuel subsidies exceed reductions spend.

Bloomberg: “The world can only consume a fraction of the known deposits of fossil fuels if it’s to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change, according to the biggest assessment of the issue.”
“The finding, encapsulated in a so-called carbon budget for the world, is crucial because it tells governments how much room they have to maneuver in balancing measures to reduce emissions that may be costly to companies and the economy, against the predicted consequences of doing nothing.
“At the current rates, the carbon budget will be depleted within just a few decades,” Alden Meyer, director of policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in an interview. “We cannot afford to dig up and burn all the fossil fuels that companies have on the books now, much less explore for new ones in places like the Arctic or the tar sands.”
The idea of the carbon budget was given prominence in the report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, helping the concept seep deeper into the vocabulary of government officials. The study, released yesterday in Copenhagen and the work of some 2,000 scientists, is the world’s fullest investigation into the science of global warming and sets out ways to make changes.
….“Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies have allowed us to not only lead the world in cutting CO2, but also have generated billions in revenue to the federal government, created millions of jobs,” said Eric Wohlschlegel, a spokesman at the American Petroleum Institute, which represents the big oil companies. The industry, he said, is “one of the few bright spots in our economy.”
The International Energy Agency last year estimated the annual value of subsidies to the fossil-fuel industries is $544 billion. That compares with the $343 billion to $385 billion that the climate panel said the world spends on reducing emissions and increasing our resilience to climate change.
The IPCC report gives a budget for carbon-dioxide emissions compatible with the goal of keeping global warming to 2 degrees Celsius since the industrial revolution. That level still puts the world on track for the fastest shift in temperatures since the last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago.
The figures suggest that if the world spews another 1.1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide or less into the atmosphere, there’s a better-than-even chance temperatures won’t push past the 2-degree threshold. That theoretical budget may be used up by 2033, assuming the rate of pollution remains constant. About 49 billion tons were emitted in 2010.
“We must act now to reduce dangerous carbon pollution or it will it lead to irreversible impacts for human health, food and water supplies, and vital infrastructure,” Barbara Boxer, a U.S. Democrat who leads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement.
The IPCC estimated 3.7 trillion tons to 7.1 trillion tons of fossil-fuel emissions remain trapped underground in the form of reserves of oil, coal and gas, that are recoverable given current economic conditions.
The UN Environment Program said last year that yearly output of CO2 will rise to 59 billion tons by 2020, and that current emissions pledges are insufficient to meet the 2-degree goal. To stand a two-in-three chance of meeting 2 degrees, there’s even less remaining budget to use — about 1 trillion tons, according to the panel. That’s 20 years of emissions at current levels.
….The study is the culmination of five years of unpaid work by thousands of scientists to sift through research into all areas of global warming and condense them to a document that summarizes the most policy-relevant findings. The Nobel prize-winning UN panel last carried out the exercise in 2007.”