A zero carbon future

In Chapter 10 beginning on page 293, after an analysis of the increasing seriousness of the consequences of global warming as the temperature rises, arguments were put forward for setting a target for the increase of global average temperature of no greater than 2 deg C above its pre-industrial level. Inspection of the profile of CO2 emissions in the IEA BLUE Map scenario published in Energy Technology Perspectives 2008 (Figures 11.4 and 10.3), which aims to meet this target, shows that the current increase in emissions, year on year, halts before 2015 after which emissions begin to fall substantially and continuously. As is eloquently stated by the IEA in their World Energy Outlook for 2008 (see box), to achieve such a profile will require extreme urgency and determination in applying the technologies and appropriate incentives included in the box on policy instruments on page 370 and in Table 11.2, Figure 11.23 and summarised also in Figures 11.26 and 11.27.

But will this be enough to meet the target of 2 °C? The following six assumptions and uncertainties were pointed out in Chapter 10:

1. Is a stabilisation level of 450 ppm CO2e equivalent to the 2 degree target? It is in fact only a best estimate providing a 50% chance of success.

2. Because 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions currently arise from tropical deforestation, the IEA BLUE Map scenario for emissions from the energy sector will not get close to meeting the 2°C target unless a slowing of tropical

Carbon capture and storage (CCS), new coal Medium-cost forestation Cofiring biomass

Wind; low penetration Industrial feedstock substitution CCS, enhanced oil recovery, new coal Low-cost forestation Livestock Nuclear

Industrial CCS Biodiesel Waste

Coal-to-gas shift CCS; coal retrofit Industrial motor systems Avoided deforestation

Fuel efficiency in commercial vehicles

Abatement beyond 'business as usual,' GtCO2e1 per year in 2030

1 GtCO2e - gigaton of carbon dioxide equivalent: "business as usual" based on emissions growth driven mainly by increasing demand for energy and transport around the world and by tropical deforestation

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