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Give up 1 year growth

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 11 months ago

Cost of saving the planet: a year's growth


Ashley Seager

Friday September 29, 2006




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, a report says today.

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.


This scenario, which involves little real sacrifice in terms of

economic growth, could be achieved only if embarked upon without

delay, the report warns.


"If countries adopt a 'business as usual' approach, the result could

be a more than doubling of global carbon emissions by 2050," said

John Hawksworth, head of macroeconomics at PwC.


"Our analysis suggests that there are technologically feasible and

relatively low cost options for controlling carbon emissions to the

atmosphere. Estimates suggest that the level of GDP might be reduced

by no more than 2-3% in 2050 if this strategy is followed."


PwC envisages the Group of Seven leading economies taking the

initiative, cutting their emissions by about half by 2050, while the

fast-growing E7 countries - China, India, Brazil, Russia, Mexico,

Indonesia and Turkey - could still increase their emissions by 30%

over the period.


"If this is to be achieved it will take further concerted action by

governments, businesses and individuals over a broad range of

measures to boost energy efficiency, adopt a greener fuel mix and

introduce carbon capture and storage technologies in power plants and

other major industrial facilities," Mr Hawksworth said.


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.


The PwC projections see China overtaking the United States as the

world's biggest emitter of CO2 by 2010 while total E7 emissions would

be more than double G7 emissions by 2050, with the "big three" -

China, the US and India - accounting for just over half, up from 45%



The European Union could cut its share of global emissions to under

9% by 2050 from 15% now, while Britain's should fall to 1% from 2%,

it said.


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%.





posted in the Yahoo Group ClimateConcern

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