Wednesday 28 January 2009

Pathway To Low-Carbon Economy - new McKinsey Report, Jan 2009

Just out. A very useful report to quote; it backs up arguments about
returns for different forms of "investment" in mitigation.


Escaping climate disaster 'affordable', says report

It is possible to maintain global warming below 2°C at an overall cost
of less than 1% of global GDP if swift action is taken across different
sectors, a study published yesterday (26 January) by consulting firm
McKinsey shows.

See full report at

There is strong political consensus that a switch to a low-carbon
economy is required both to combat climate change and for industries to
remain competitive. But the economic slowdown has prompted fresh fears
that the austere financial situation could slow down development of the
new technologies.

In October 2006, Nicholas Stern published an influential report arguing
that keeping global warming under control would cost much less than
dealing with the consequences of climate change.

McKinsey's new report provides analysis of more than 200 opportunities
for reducing emissions across 10 sectors and 21 regions.

It stresses that immediate, cross-sector action is a prerequisite for
achieving the necessary reductions, because every year of delay will
both increase emissions and lock the economy into a high-carbon path for
the future.

The report puts together a global cost curve for greenhouse gas
abatement, comparing the options for moving to a low-carbon economy at a
cost below €60 per tonne of carbon emissions. It identifies three main
sectors where emissions can be reduced most cost-effectively.

The biggest reductions, 14 gigatonnes (Gt) or some 40% of global
potential, can be achieved by designing vehicles, electrical appliances
and buildings that consume less energy, according to McKinsey.

Compared to the Stern report, which estimated the cost of inaction to be
between five and 20% of global GDP, McKinsey believe investing in the
shift to a low-carbon economy is significantly cheaper, and potentially
as low as 0.5%.

The study underlines the urgency of action in all countries and all
sectors, while participants argued that reaching a global agreement this
year is imperative.

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