Comment - Energy and Climate Change
The PwC view by David Flint
PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) published its latest
Low Carbon Economy Index report in
November 2012. It makes bleak reading. The key points are simply
There can be no doubt that PwC has got this right. Indeed, effects
not included in the IPCC models - such as emissions of methane
from the Arctic - probably make it over-optimistic. A more realistic
approach might note that:
- International conferences have declared that the rise in global
temperature should be kept below two degrees. Greater increases
have been declared 'catastrophic'.
- To avoid this requires the world economy to reduce its carbon
intensity, ie CO2 emissions per £1 million of GNP, by 5.1% pa for
- This level of change is unprecedented. In the last ten years we
managed 0.8% pa.
- Therefore the change won't happen and global temperatures will
rise by at least two degrees.
- We are currently on course for an increase of over six degrees.
- Even to keep the increase to four degrees would require us to
reduce carbon intensity by 3% pa.
- Therefore everyone should plan for a much warmer world.
- The rate of climate change may be much higher than expected.
- Feedback effects may create a tipping point after which no
reduction in carbon intensity can do more than delay an increase
to six or more degrees of warming.
First published in the EGP members newsletter, February 2013
Published and promoted
by Bill Linton for Enfield Green Party, both at 39A Fox Lane, London N13