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THINKING LONG TERM: Confronting Global Climate Change

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THINKING LONG TERM: Confronting Global Climate Change Written by James J. MacKenzie Senior Associate World Resources Institute – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: THINKING LONG TERM: Confronting Global Climate Change


1
THINKING LONG TERM Confronting Global Climate
Change
  • Written by James J. MacKenzie
  • Senior Associate World Resources Institute

2
A hostile climate (Ice Ages) made life difficult
for our ancestors
3
Todays more favorable climate has supported the
growth of civilization
4
Partly as a result of a favorable climate,
humanity has grown in numbers over time
7,000
6,000
5,000
4,000
Millions of people
3,000
2,000
1,000
0
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
Year
5
The world has grown dependent on inexpensive
fossil fuels
Source Global Energy Perspectives IIASA, WEC,
1998
6
But the burning of fuels now threatens our well
being
7
Burning fossil fuels leads to
  • Environmental impacts during exploration and
    production
  • Ozone, acid deposition, and local and
    trans-boundary air pollution from burning
  • Emissions of greenhouse gases

8
Global warming enhanced by emissions of man-made
gases
Source Climate Change, State of Knowledge,
OSTP, 1997
9
Much is known with certainty about global warming
  • Existence of natural greenhouse effect is
    established beyond doubt
  • Concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) are
    increasing
  • The temperature of the earth is increasing. 1998
    the hottest in at least 1000 years.
  • Sea levels are rising (4 to 10 inches over past
    100 years)
  • Some GHGs will remain in the atmosphere for
    centuries

10
CO2 contributed most to global warming over past
century
11
CO2 is building up in the atmosphere
Source Climate Change, State of Knowledge,
OSTP, 1997
12
Earths temperature continues to rise rapidly
Source Climate Change, State of Knowledge,
OSTP, 1997
13
The polar ice cap is melting
14
Earth is projected to grow warmer
Source Univ. of East Anglia, IPCC
15
Extreme precipitation events are becoming more
common
16
Uncertainties still persist
  • Timing and regional impacts
  • The effects of increased cloudiness
  • Uncertain health and ecological impacts
  • Possible surprises from unanticipated effects

17
More impacts of global warming can be expected
  • More health effects from the spread of tropical
    diseases, heat waves, and so-called natural
    disasters
  • Loss of agricultural land in developing countries
  • Disappearance of ecosystems that are unable to
    migrate

18
The climate problem is a long-term problem and
will require thinking long term to solve
19
Common sense goals to cope with the climate threat
  • Reduce CO2 emissions, requiring world economy to
    become much more efficient
  • Start a world-wide shift from fossil to
    non-fossil energy sources

20
We can explore energy-climate futures through
what if scenarios
21
Criteria for a strategy to keep CO2 levels
reasonably low
  • A strategy should support sustainable growth in
    the world economy
  • Improvements in global energy efficiency (E/GDP)
  • A transition to non-fossil energy sources

22
  • These criteria are met in the
  • Ecologically Driven Scenario from Global Energy
    Perspectives by WEC and IIASA

23
Scenario assumptions related to energy demand
  • Growth rate in global energy demand of 0.8 over
    next century, doubling energy use by 2100
  • Doubling of world population by 2100
  • 10-fold increase in world economy over next
    century
  • 1.3 annual improvement in energy efficiency.
    One would need only 20 as much energy to produce
    a dollar of GDP compared with today.

24
Recent annual energy growth rates (1987-1996)
25
Assumptions related to energy supply
  • Global supply of new renewables (wind, PV, hydro)
    would increase to 50 by 2100
  • Biofuels from trees, agricultural wastes,
    municipal wastes, and so on would account for 30
    of supply by 2100
  • Nuclear would be phased out by 2100
  • Coal, oil, and natural gas would fall to 18 of
    global supply from its present value of 80
  • CO2 emissions would fall by 2/3 by 2100

26
Energy supply The global transition to
non-fossil energy
Mtoe
27
Photovoltaics (PV) produce power with no
emissions or moving parts
28
The use of wind machines is growing rapidly
around the world
29
Rapid growth required in the use of renewable
energy sources
Mtoe
30
Rapid growth required in the use of renewable
energy sources
  • Use of biofuels must increase sustainably to
    over 5 times its present value by 2100 (1.6
    growth per year)
  • Hydro must increase to 3 times its present value
    by 2100 (1.2 growth per year)

31
Rapid growth required in the use of renewable
energy sources
  • PV and wind must grow to 45 of global supply by
    2100
  • PV and wind must grow initially at about 12 per
    year, slowing to 6 by 2050, and then to about 2
    to 3 per year through the year 2100
  • Global data show that electricity from PVs and
    wind has been growing at about 20 per year for
    the past 15 years.

32
From the viewpoint of non-carbon energy sources,
the future looks promising. Global growth in
these two vital sources of renewable energy is
on track to meet the needs of a growing world
economy.
33
Resulting carbon dioxide emissions (1990 through
2100)
Mtc
Year
34
CO2 concentration in an ecologically driven future
In this aggressive scenario, the CO2
concentration would peak at about 450 parts per
million (ppm) -- less than a doubling -- in the
last quarter of the 21st century, and then start
declining.
35
In sum, a thinking long term strategy would...
  • Develop a century-long energy and climate
    strategy to hold CO2 concentration below a
    doubling
  • Improve global energy efficiency (reduce E/GDP)
    to hold energy growth to under 1
  • Support rapid phasing in of non-fossil energy
    sources

36
National governments should support thinking
long term strategies
  • Reform energy prices to make them more closely
    reflect the costs they impose on society.
    Benefits
  • Encourage efficiency and make more economic the
    renewable energy sources.
  • Should also lower taxes on income, savings, and
    investment to offset higher energy prices.

37
National governments should support thinking
long term strategies (continued)
  • Research. Support research on renewable energy
    sources and the infrastructure needs to phase
    them into the economy.
  • Creating markets. Use government purchasing power
    to create markets, bring down prices, and get
    experience with the use of renewable energy
    technologies including hydrogen and fuel cells.

38
In short, there are three areas for major
federal emphasis ...
  • Reforming energy pricing to level the playing
    field
  • Supporting basic research on new technologies,
    and
  • Using federal purchasing to expand markets and
    reduce costs.

39
http//www.wri.org/wri/
40
Addendum slides for narrated streaming
presentation
41
Climate Web sites
  • www.ipcc.ch/ The Intergovernmental Panel on
    Climate Change
  • www.usgcrp.gov/ US Global Change Research
    Program
  • globalchange.gov/ Gateway to Global Change Data
  • www.globalchange.org/ Global Change, Electronic
    Edition

42
Global energy Web sites
  • www/iiasa.ac.at/cgi-bin/ecs/book_dyn/bookcnt.pv G
    lobal Energy Perspectives
  • www.undp.org/seed/eap/ United Nations
    Development Programme
  • www.worldenergy.org/ World Energy Council
  • www.undp.org/seed/eap/activities/wea/ World
    Energy Assessment

43
THINKING LONG TERM Confronting Global Climate
Change
  • Written by James J. MacKenzie Senior Associate,
    World Resources Institute
  • Narrated by Navroz Dubash Associate, World
    Resources Institute
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