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World must turn to wind and solar to combat global warming, report says

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/14/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Reliance on fossil fuel should be cut by 70 percent by 2050, United Nations report claims

The world must turn to the wind or sun for its energy needs -- or face catastrophic consequences wrought by climate change. That's the news from a recent report from the United Nations on global warming. These devastating effects could take place as early as 15 years from now, the report warns.

Scientists are optimistic that if renewable energy is quickly rolled out, homes are built in a more sustainable and energy efficient way, and human consumption and wastefulness is changed, climate change can be controlled.

Scientists are optimistic that if renewable energy is quickly rolled out, homes are built in a more sustainable and energy efficient way, and human consumption and wastefulness is changed, climate change can be controlled.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
4/14/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Wind, solar, nuclear, United Nations, renewable energy sources


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that emissions of greenhouse gases need to be cut by up to 70 percent before 2050 to control climate change.

"Large-scale changes in energy systems" are required, with coal power stations to be switched off and replaced by wind and solar. Fifteen years down the line, controlling climate change will become increasingly harder and more expensive.

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The final version of the report, written by 235 international scientists and economists, says that efforts so far have failed to stop spiraling emissions of greenhouse gases - which have risen to "unprecedented levels" in the past decade.
 
"There is a clear message from science: to avoid dangerous interference with the climate system, we need to move away from business as usual," Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the authors, said.

The report is the first major assessment in seven years of the options for dealing with climate change.

The report is intended to inform the policy decisions of Governments around the world. The report will also be used as bargaining tool before next year's U.N. climate conference in Paris, which aims to set legally binding targets on every nation to reduce carbon emissions.

The report the final part in a trilogy of IPCC reports on the causes, impacts and solutions to climate change.

The first part, published last September, found that scientists are 95 percent certain that humans are the "dominant cause" of global warming. The second part, published a fortnight ago, warned that the drastic impacts of climate change are "already occurring on all continents and across the oceans."

The final part, on the options for mitigating global warming, warns that the world must drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels.

"Without additional efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond those in place today, emissions growth is expected to persist driven by growth in global population and economic activities."

If no action is taken, global temperatures will rise by up to 4.7C by the end of the century, which scientists believe will cause irreversible and dramatic damage to the planet.

Scientists are optimistic that if renewable energy is quickly rolled out, homes are built in a more sustainable and energy efficient way, and human consumption and wastefulness is changed, climate change can be controlled.

However, transforming the economy will require "substantial investment," with up to four percent of total global GDP between now and 2030.

Renewable energy has grown, the report finds, but a rapid acceleration is now needed.

"Regarding electricity generation alone, renewable energy accounted for just over half of the new electricity-generating capacity added globally in 2012, led by growth in wind, hydro and solar power," it says.

But it warns that Governments will still need to pour subsidies in to get the systems off the ground.

"Many renewable energy technologies still need direct and/or indirect support, if their market shares are to be significantly increased" it says.

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