Sunday, October 01, 2006

Save the Earth for the Cost of a Cup of Coffee

PricewaterhouseCoopers has tabled a "green growth plus" strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2050 and stabilize global CO2 levels at 450 parts per million - the figure judged to be needed to avoid large scale climate change. They also found the price tag to attach to it. The cost? One year's economic growth over the next 40 years, or a 2.5% reduction in overall growth over that time. It is a quite literally a plan that can save the earth "for about the cost of a cup of coffee". Sally Struthers would be proud.

The strategy involves increases in energy efficiency, greater use of renewables and carbon capture to cut emissions, and does not necessitate a large scale shift to nuclear power. According to PwC's plan, the world's leading economies in the G7 would take the lead, while the worlds fast-growing developing nations - China, India, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey - would be allowed to increase their emissions moderately in order to continue their development towards first world economies.

Highlights of the plan include:
  • Double the current non-fossil fuel primary energy share to about 30% by 2050 for a 25% reduction.
  • Increased energy efficiency gains to 2.6% a year from today's 1.6% for a 33% reduction.
  • Carbon capture and storage for a further 20%.
  • The European Union could cut its share of global emissions to under 9% by 2050 from 15% now.
  • Britain's should fall to 1% from 2%, it said.

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