02:07 GMT28 February 2021
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    The UN Summit on Climate change is underway, with many countries remaining divided on the issue. Can any productive resolutions be achieved?

    Sputnik spoke with Professor Brendan Mackey, Director of the Griffith University Climate Change Response Program for more insight on the issue.

    Sputnik: Is Climate Change really a myth as Trump would have you believe?

    Brendan Mackey: It’s a physical reality and the science behind this is very robust. We’ve known about it for around one hundred and thirty years now, the basic science behind atmospheric physics is that Carbon dioxide in particular affects global warming and all the data and analysis has served to confirm what’s going on.

    Those who don’t accept the science are not dealing with the reality of the situation.

    Sputnik: What can we do to reverse climate change?

    Brendan Mackey: The solution is to get to the root cause of the problem and there are two main causes. One is burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal as energy. When we do that, we release Carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which accentuates the global warming and also when we clear, log and otherwise destroy forests.

    Forests store a lot of carbon in the woody stems of the trees and soil, and that also oxidises and goes into the atmosphere, so the solution is to find an alternative energy source to fossil fuels, ones that don’t create these greenhouse gasses, and to stop logging and clearing our forests, both of which are easier said than done.

    Sputnik: Which countries produce the most emissions?

    Brendan Mackey: The number one emitter is currently China, followed closely by the USA. This makes sense, as they are the world’s two biggest economies, they’ve got very large populations and they’re burning a lot of fossil fuels and coal in particular.

    What causes the climate change is the accumulation of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over time, so basically most of the extra Carbon dioxide that is in the atmosphere is due to the developed countries such as the EU and USA, but now on an annual basis China is number one, India is growing because it’s undergoing dramatic population growth and economic development.

    So this is the challenge; as developing countries seek further economic growth, and to alleviate poverty and the like, they’re still using the old, polluting energy sources, and the big challenge is how we can ween ourselves of our addiction to fossil fuels and start finding and making use of clean energy.

    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Brendan Mackey and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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