Emissions could double: report
A sharp reminder that we should shortly be getting back to our public peer review, critique and recommendations on the WBCSD Mobility 2030 report. I may have trouble handling this during the month since for my part I am close to 100% tired up in our terrific Toronto 2004 New Mobility Summit which has me in Toronto for the week 19-25 September (see http://ecoplan.org/toronto). But at the latest it will have my full attention upon my return here.
But the fact is that these two apparently separate phenomena – a basically closed print report and hand wringing long term scenario by international industry and a wide open public query intended to lead to a short term action program and led by a wide range of concerned local groups -- are clearly related: not least because in Toronto we are looking for major modifications in a two year period directly ahead and not, as this latest report suggests when it, repeatedly, makes the point: “"Changing lifestyle patterns takes a very long time and generally speaking people don't do what they say (they will), Mr Stigson said.”
That’s the point, eh? It seems as if in all these reports our good fiends at WBCSD and their members suggests that the only way out will be for us to buy our way out with their products. Hmm.
With all good wishes,
The New Mobility Agenda at http://newmobility.org
The New Mobility Forum at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WorldTransport/
The Commons: Open Society Sustainability Initiative
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Email: postmaster @ ecoplan.org
Emissions could double: report
The Age, September 6, 2004
Global carbon dioxide emissions could double by 2050 if energy-saving measures are not universally introduced, an international energy report released in Sydney on Monday shows.
The document Energy and Climate Change, released by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development at the World Energy Congress, reports energy trends for the next 46 years.
It highlights natural gas, nuclear energy, renewable energy, bio-products and low energy appliances as tools to help reduce fast-growing levels of carbon dioxide.
Speaking at the conference, a delegate from the Geneva-based council, Anne Lauvergeon, warned carbon growth was difficult to halt.
"To give figures, in 2000 the world emitted around eight gigatons of carbon," Ms Lauvergeon said.
"Under a business as usual scenario, in 2050, emissions could double to reach around 16 gigatons ... so if we don't act now, our future may become out of control."
She said the pace of change in the energy industry was slow "like a super-tanker".
"It takes time to change direction and you must anticipate," Ms Lauvergeon said.
"And if you don't start on time, you cannot recover the situation and the consequences may spiral out of control."
Council president Bjorn Stigson said the transport industry would move particularly slowly despite the introduction of hybrid vehicles.
"Even if we start introducing low emission vehicles, your traditional vehicle will continue to grow in volume up to 2040," Mr Stigson told the audience.
"And we can not find one single scenario that will mean core emissions from transport will peak and start to go down before 2030.
"These are the challenges we are faced with and we must be realistic about them."
He said progress had been made with the development of environmentally-friendly products, but many people were still tentative about using them.
"Changing lifestyle patterns takes a very long time and generally speaking people don't do what they say (they will), Mr Stigson said.
"Most people say they are willing to buy "green" products but they don't unless they believe they are of equal price and quality."
The council, a coalition of 175 corporations, produced the report to stimulate forward thinking in businesses worldwide.