1. Governments must seize opportunity to halve carbon emissions by 2040: Report

Governments must seize opportunity to halve carbon emissions by 2040: Report

There is a need for governments and businesses to "seize" the opportunity to halve global carbon emissions by 2040 while ensuring economic development and energy access for all, a report said today.

By: | New Delhi | Published: April 25, 2017 10:39 PM
Carbon emission,  Energy Transitions Commission, GDP,  low-carbon energy systems The transition to low-carbon energy systems would deliver important social benefits – for instance dramatically improved air quality leading to longer and healthier lives – and economic opportunities related to the development of technologies and innovative business models, the report said.(Reuters)

There is a need for governments and businesses to “seize” the opportunity to halve global carbon emissions by 2040 while ensuring economic development and energy access for all, a report said today. The report highlighted that transition to low-carbon energy systems across the world will require faster improvement than that achieved in the past 20 years and even at a pace faster than what the countries have promised in the Paris agreement aimed at limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

The report, ‘Better energy, Greater prosperity’, released by the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC), said energy productivity needs to increase by 3 per cent each year and the share of energy from zero-carbon sources needs to rise at least one percentage point. The report said governments “must” act now to accelerate clean electrification, decarbonisation beyond power and energy productivity improvement.

“It is technically and economically feasible to grow economies and provide affordable, reliable, clean energy for all while meeting the Paris objective of limiting global warming to well below 2°C,” the report argued. The report said falling costs of renewables and batteries make cost-effective, clean electricity unstoppable and essential to the transition to a low-carbon, energy-abundant world.

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“There is still untapped potential to improve energy productivity – i.e. the energy-intensity of GDP. Growth of 3 per cent per annum could be achieved with the right policies effectively implemented. “Rapid progress is now required on other technologies, including bioenergy, hydrogen and all forms of carbon capture and sequestration, to drive complete decarbonisation.

“But even with largescale CCS (carbon capture and storage) deployment, which is currently not on track, fossil fuels use must fall 30 per cent by 2040, with rapid decline of unabated coal,” the report said. “We are ambitious but realistic. Despite the scale of the challenges facing us, we firmly believe the required transition is technically and economically achievable if immediate action is taken,” said Adair Turner, Chair of the ETC.

The transition to low-carbon energy systems would deliver important social benefits – for instance dramatically improved air quality leading to longer and healthier lives – and economic opportunities related to the development of technologies and innovative business models, the report said. “This is not just another plan, it is a better plan. We show how the world can remove barriers to transform challenges into opportunities, not only in advanced economies, but also in emerging countries,” said Ajay Mathur, co-Chair of the ETC.

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