Energy efficiency key to lower C02 emissions - PWC

03 July 2008 12:07  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to halve global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050 through increased energy efficiency and use of renewables and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PWC) said on Thursday.

"We estimate that the costs of halving global carbon emissions by 2050 should be no more than around 3% of world GDP. This is broadly equivalent to sacrificing around a year of global GDP growth between now and 2050," said John Hawksworth, head of macroeconomics at PWC.

The international assurance and advisory firm’s report contradicts recent strong views of how environmentally friendly measures could cause companies billions of dollars and bring major economies to a halt.

In its reported titled The World in 2050: can rapid global growth be reconciled with moving to a low carbon economy, PWC estimates that the halving of global carbon emissions by 2050 translates into advanced economies reducing emissions by 80% of current levels.

Emerging economies would be required to take initiatives to mitigate the growth of emissions up to 2020 and subsequently aim for reductions in emissions, it added.

PWC said that the scenario required a significant increase in energy efficiency in all sectors of the global economy, greater use of renewables and nuclear power, carbon capture and storage (CCS) methods and other low carbon technologies.

The importance of establishing a global carbon trading and tax system was also highlighted together with the need for carbon credit pricing.

"The key requirement now is for governments in all of the major economies to demonstrate their joint political will to establish a well-functioning global carbon market that puts a price on carbon emissions," said Richard Gledhill, head of climate change services at PWC.

"This will send the right economic signals to private sector investors and consumers needed to deliver the new technologies and changes in behaviour required to combat global warming," he added.

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By: Bohan Loh
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