Scientists say that only radical cuts in the release of greenhouse gases can save our planet from becoming a Venusian hothouse. Climate Challenge is an eight-part series going local and global to find some of the most promising approaches to turning down the global thermostat.
Episode 1: Market for the World
Under the system of penalties and incentives known as the carbon market, countries are allocated permits for carbon emissions, and those that emit less than their allotted amount can sell their excess permits to countries that produce more than they should. We go to Brazil, India, China and South Africa to see how the so-called Clean Development Mechanism is working at the grassroots.
Episode 2: Money on Trees
Under the Kyoto Protocol, rich polluting nations can ‘offset’ their carbon profligacy by – among other measures – paying poor countries to plant trees. In many cases this Clean Development Mechanism has led to deforested areas being planted with just one or two species. Yet there is currently no mechanism under the CDM to pay countries to prevent deforestation in the first place.
Episode 3: Putting the Carbon Genie Back
Can technology on the grand scale solve the problem of the build-up of greenhouse gases? The Norwegian state oil and gas company Statoil is currently experimenting with injecting CO2 into a deep saline formation 800 metres below the North Sea. The Dakota Gasification Company in the United States is dehydrating, compressing and piping CO2 to Canada to assist the extraction of oil in the Weyburn oil field.
Episode 4: The Home Front
While politicians wrangle over treaties, ordinary people are quietly coming up with practical solutions to climate change, often saving money as well as cutting emissions. We travel to Cambodia, China, India and the UK to have a look at these personal initiatives.
Episode 5: Doing the Business
In this programme, we discover how sustainable energy need not hamper economic development – by looking at examples of cleaner energy solutions that are doing the business for planet and pocket.
Episode 6: Bright Ideas
We take a look at bright ideas involving biomass and solar power that could cut fossil fuel use in the future. We travel to Bangladesh, Malawi and the UK.
Episode 7: Climate Justice
Cyclones, floods, drought: climate change has many faces. Every continent is affected but not all have the means to deal with it. Some now call for climate justice: the polluters must pay, to help the poor and vulnerable to tackle climate change.
Episode 8: The Sound of Bricks
In all Asian societies, the high population density, the rising incomes and the rapid urbanization is putting more and more environmental stress on the construction sector and is seriously hampering its sustainability. This episode reveals an industry that is resisting to change and that at the same time faces enormous environmental, economic and social challenges.