January 22nd, 2014

The challenge of deep decarbonisation

Climate Change & Environment

Sustainable Development

Energy lies at the heart of the world’s sustainability challenge. On the one hand, abundant, accessible, low-cost energy is vital for economic prosperity. On the other hand, the world’s pattern of energy use, based on fossil fuels, threatens massive future climate change with devastating potential consequences. The greatest sustainability challenge, therefore, is to meet the energy needs of a growing world economy while moving to a safer pattern of energy use.

The difficulty can be explained in the following way. Currently, the world energy system uses the equivalent of around 170kg of oil in primary energy for every $1,000 (Dh3,678) of output, if one adds up the annual use of oil, gas, coal, nuclear and renewable energy and converts each primary energy source into units of oil equivalent. On an average, each unit of primary energy (again measured in tonnes of oil equivalent) contributes 2.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. With a world economy of around $90 trillion, measured in purchasing-power adjusted prices, the result is around 36 billion tonnes of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.

Read the full article at the Gulf News


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