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Let’s Use Fossil Fuels To Make Stuff, But Let’s Not Cook The Planet

Let’s Use Fossil Fuels To Make Stuff, But Let’s Not Cook The Planet | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Originally published on Shrink That Footprint, By Lindsay Wilson.


The IPCC just released its third assessment report on mitigating climate change. I’ve spent the morning reading the full summary, and to help you save a little time I’ve whittled it down to a six word summary: Fossils fuels are for making stuff.


Of course we’ll continue to use fossils fuels for making stuff where absolutely necessary (steel, plastic, fertilizer…) but we need to stop using them as our go to energy source for doing things (power, transport, heating and cooling). This of course is a simplification, with obvious exceptions like heavy transport, but it’s a pretty solid way to think about the challenge.

 

If that sounds radical that is simply because it is. According to the IPCC, limiting warming to 2°C means increasing the world’s low carbon energy share from 15% in 2010, to 60% by 2050 and to 90% by 2100. And just to be very clear here when the IPCC says ‘energy’ they don’t mean electricity. They are talking about all the energy we use in industry, transport, buildings and agriculture.


Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

We can do better.  We can achieve 100% renewable energy certainly by 2050, and with a concerted effort, by 2030.

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IPCC climate change report: averting catastrophe is eminently affordable | The Guardian

IPCC climate change report: averting  catastrophe is eminently affordable | The Guardian | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Catastrophic climate change can be averted without sacrificing living standards according to a UN report, which concludes that the transformation required to a world of clean energy is eminently affordable.


“It doesn’t cost the world to save the planet,” said economist Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, who led the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) team.

 

The cheapest and least risky route to dealing with global warming is to abandon all dirty fossil fuels in coming decades, the report found. 

 

Diverting hundred of billions of dollars from fossil fuels into renewable energy and cutting energy waste would shave just 0.06% off expected annual economic growth rates of 1.3%-3%, the IPCC report concluded.


“The report is clear: the more you wait, the more it will cost [and] the more difficult it will become,” said EU commissioner Connie Hedegaard.


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

The only reason we might not be able to change directions fast enough is the belief by too many people that we are doomed, combined with the dominant power structure that continues to benefit by leading us to our doom.  In fact, developing the 100% renewable energy to replace fossil fuels and to recycle 100% of our resources should result in enormous economic activity - i.e. GDP.

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