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The world in 2050 – Impact of global growth on carbon emissions
This report was produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers in advance of the Stern Review report published in the UK on 30 October 2006
1. The rapid economic growth of emerging countries such as China and India could have serious long-term consequences for global energy consumption and carbon emissions.
2. A scenario such as the “Green Growth Plus” strategy outlined in the report could allow for continued healthy growth whilst controlling carbon emissions.
3. The report considers six possible scenarios but focuses most attention on two key possibilities: (a) A baseline scenario in which energy efficiency improves in line with trends of the past 25 years, with no change in fuel mix by country; (b) A scenario called Green Growth + CCS, which incorporates possible emission reductions due to a greener fuel mix, annual energy efficiency gains over and above the historic trend, and widespread use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.
4. Of the scenarios considered in the report, only this ‘Green Growth Plus’ strategy stabilises atmospheric CO2 concentrations by 2050 at what the current scientific consensus suggests would be broadly acceptable levels.
5. The author of is John Hawksworth, head of macroeconomics at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ UK firm. He says: “…the emerging ‘E7’ economies …could account for almost half of global carbon emissions by 2050 according to our model…Can the world sustain such rapid growth without serious adverse effects on its climate? Our new report provides one possible answer to how this might be achieved”.
6. According to a plausible scenario detailed in the report the G7 economies will need to reduce their current level of emissions by around half by 2050 to achieve this scenario, whereas the E7 economies would still be able to increase their emissions by around 30% from current levels.
7. China is set to overtake the US as the leading carbon emitter by 2010, while total E7 emissions would be more than double total G7 emissions by 2050.
8. John Hawksworth concludes: “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 around 2-3% in 2050 if this strategy was followed, equivalent to sacrificing only around a year of economic growth for the sake of reducing carbon emissions in 2050 by around 60% compared to our baseline scenario”.
Full report here
Link suggested by an article at the Bioconversion Blog
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