Friday, May 04, 2007

How much will carbon reductions cost me?

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - the third part of their 4th major assessment - purports to demonstrate how carbon emissions can be reduced and to give some idea of how much it might cost.
This latter issue has been a sticking point for many people and, in particular, many governments, not least those of the United States and Canada.
IPCC gives some concrete measures whereby carbon emissions could be mitigated, breaking it down into the sectors of buildings, industry, energy supply, agriculture, forestry, transport and waste (in order of potential savings).
The indications are that the costs may not be as cataclysmic and prohibitive as some pundits have claimed, especially when predicted annual GDP growth rates are taken into account. What we are looking at is a slight reduction in annual growth, rather than a massive, depression-causing hit to the world economy. Not exactly news, but more ammunition against the nay-sayers, I guess.
I still maintain that, however wobbly some of the science behind global warming predictions may be, (and some of it is, let's admit it), most of the ameliorating measures needed to tackle it - increased energy conservation, more clean renewable power generation, more recycling and reuse of pretty much everything, more reforestation and less deforestation, more and better public transit, etc, etc - need to be done anyway if we are to lead a sustainable existence on this planet.
And I am banking on the current climate change bandwagon to achieve a good part of my own private agenda.

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