Director, Policy and Strategy
Green Innovations Inc.
Tel & fax: +61 3 9486 4799
|2 September 2000
Paper marked up in HTML format
by Philip Sutton.
THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION'S 22nd
REPORT: Energy - The Changing Climate
- ROYAL COMMISSION CALLS FOR
TRANSFORMATION IN THE UK'S USE OF ENERGY TO COUNTER CLIMATE CHANGE
As a contribution to global efforts to prevent climate change running out of
control, the United Kingdom should plan for a reduction of 60% over the next
50 years in the amounts of carbon dioxide it produces by burning fossil
fuels. This is one of the key conclusions of a major report published
today by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. The report -
Energy – The Changing Climate - explores what that will mean for industry
and ordinary households, and how government policies need to change.
Fossil Fuels and Climate Protection - The Carbon Logic
1997 Greenpeace International Report
- Preventing dangerous climate change will involve limiting both the rate and magnitude of climate change over the next century to levels that
natural and human systems can tolerate without significant damage. This report shows the implications for overall fossil fuel use, in the form of a
"carbon budget", over the next century if the global community is to prevent dangerous climate change.
It is demonstrated that it is only possible to burn a small fraction of the total oil, coal and gas that has already been discovered, if such
dangerous changes are to be avoided. Even the reserves of fossil fuels that are considered economic to recover now, with no advances in
technology, are far greater than the total allowable "carbon budget'.
This conclusion is shown to be robust to a wide range of assumptions about how sensitive the climate is to human interference, and the levels of
change that might be considered unacceptable or dangerous.
Comparison of the "carbon budget" with projections of possible future energy sources nevertheless suggests that such a target is both
technically and economically feasible.
- The "carbon budget" will be used up by 2020 at the current rate
of increase in fossil fuel energy use. A phase out of the use of fossil
fuels needs to begin now.
Author: Philip Sutton
First posted: 2 September 2000
Feedback & Enquiries: Philip.Sutton@green-innovations.asn.au
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