Thursday, October 12, 2006
Global Heating Climate Chaos: Cheaper to Prevent than Respond
The world would have to give up only one year's economic growth over the next four decades to reduce carbon emissions sufficiently to stave off the threat of global warming. Consultants at PricewaterhouseCoopers offer a "green growth plus" strategy, combining energy efficiency,
greater use of renewables and carbon capture to cut emissions by 60% by 2050 from the level reached by doing nothing. Nuclear energy, it says, can play a role, but it is not crucial.
A shift to a much less carbon-intensive fuel mix would more than double the current non-fossil fuel primary energy share to about 30% by 2050. That alone would be sufficient to reduce carbon emissions by 25%. PwC's view that renewables could do the job without having to use nuclear technology could undermine Tony Blair's argument that atomic power is crucial. Increasing energy efficiency gains to 2.6% a year from today's 1.6% would reduce emissions by a third, while carbon capture and storage - pumping power station emissions into disused gas fields underground - could achieve a further 20%. The report says a combination of all these
measures will be necessary to stabilise global CO2 levels at 450 parts per million, the figure scientific opinion judges to be broadly acceptable.