CO2 effects on the climate.
A new report from Imperial College London looks at what measures are required to reduce CO2 emissions and limit the extent of man-made climate change.
Human activities like shipping, construction and industry are increasing the concentration of CO2 entering the atmosphere, which research has overwhelmingly shown is heating the planet and changing our climate.
Many studies, including those by the International Energy Agency, suggest that global CO2 emissions are set to pass 50 Giga-tonnes per year by 2050 if there is no further action by governments to reduce them over the coming years.
Now researchers at Imperial have ...view middle of the document...
The report was launched on 17 September, by scientists at Imperial's Grantham Institute for Climate Change and Energy Futures Lab.
Speaking at Imperial on Tuesday, Dr Halldór Thorgeirsson, Director of Implementation Strategy at the UNFCCC, which leads the international climate negotiations, welcomed the report.
He stressed the need for governments to agree about reducing global greenhouse gas emissions at the UN climate negotiations meeting (COP 21) in Paris in 2015, saying:
"It is promising that leadership is increasingly coming from developing countries and from non-state organisations such as businesses, however we are worryingly on course to cause 4 degrees or more of global warming and there is clearly a need for a step change in behaviour from all governments."
Both Dr Thorgeirsson and Professor Shah stressed that there is no silver bullet when it comes to addressing climate change.
"It will require concerted action from all countries and investment in a wide range of technologies to reduce emissions and limit the impacts of climate change." said Professor Shah.
The key findings from the study are:
If historic trends in energy usage continue, global CO2 emissions are likely to increase to around 50 Giga tonnes per year by 2050, and the global use of fossil fuels will increase by 50 per cent compared to current levels.
It is technically possible to reduce CO2 emissions to the required 15 Giga tonnes per year if all countries make the transition to low-carbon societies.
It will cost about one per cent of global GDP per year (approximately $2 trillion) by 2050 to make the required reductions, and could cost significantly less depending on the future price of fossil fuels.
Renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage will play a central role in making the electricity sector nearly carbon neutral.
Emissions from the industry, buildings and transport sectors will be reduced through increased electrification,...