Monday 19 October 2009

WWF Climate Solutions rpt out; gives us 5 yrs to shift low-carbon industries into high growth

Just released our new "Climate Solutions II" rpt for WWF Int, at last!

The report models the global growth rates needed for low-carbon industries if we're to avoid climate tipping points. In particular it shows that we can't afford the current approach of starting with the least-cost mitigation solutions and working our way forward to higher cost solutions as a carbon price gets to a reasonable level.

The modelling suggest we are at a fork in the road: to be able to have a reasonable chance of avoiding tipping points we need the whole range of low-carbon industries to have shifted into high growth phases (25-30% p.a., averaged globally) by 2014. If we don't take this road we will be looking at run-away climate change and the severe economic (and other!) contraction that will come with that.

The timeframe to ramp up low-carbon industries is such that any carbon price improvement from and end-2010 signed Copenhagen agreement is not going to help; it will take some years for stronger price signals to have an appreciable impact on the growth of low-carbon industries, compounded by the fact that strong price signals are not likely to come out of the US for some time.

According to the modelling in the report, to move at scale and at speed to become a low-carbon economy will require investment inflows of roughly a trillion dollars a year, at least for the next decade.

The report provides the macro argument for speed and for scale of action that leads into discussions of the need for larger-scale, policy-engineered solutions than have been considered to date.

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