Reading ‘Living with a Carbon Budget’

by Mark on 09/15/2006

Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and The University of Manchester have produced a report for Friends of the Earth and The Co-operative Bank, called ‘Living with a carbon budget’, which paints a rather bleak future for our world unless governments step in and take immediate action. The report states:

The Government has only four years to implement a major new programme of action to cut carbon emissions if the UK is to play its part in keeping global temperatures below danger levels

The report sets out a path to “a low carbon economy” to make sure the UK keeps it commitments to keep temperatures from rising 2C above pre-industrial levels  the critical level. It recommends that the UK needs to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 70% over the next 30 years.

The Independent neatly summarised what this path will mean:

2010

* All cars must have a minimum fuel consumption of 45mpg and electric cars are common in towns

* Electricity and gas bills state how much carbon has been emitted

* Incandescent light bulbs are no longer on sale, replaced by high-efficiency bulbs

2030

* Double-decker electric trains run on high-speed tracks across Europe with multiple direct routes, eg Manchester to Rome

* City centres are car free and there are 10 per cent fewer cars on the roads following a massive investment in new tram, bus and trolley bus infrastructure

* Renewable energy is a major force with large schemes such as the Swansea tidal lagoon and wind farms operating

* Rush hour is reduced by a large increase in flexible working

* All new housing will have “near-zero” demand for heating and cooling, provided by wind turbines and solar panels

2050

* Hydrogen produces 25 per cent of all energy, including in the home with special fuel cells to provide heat and power

* A third of electricity is produced locally by communal boiler plants that burn gas

* Industrial production is based around hubs which allow “recycling” of energy resources between manufacturing processes

* Petrol stations have been replaced by multi-fuel stations offering hydrogen, electricity and bio-fuels

It would take a lot of balls for any government, yet alone the current one, to take such drastic steps to meet these proposed targets, yet what choice do they have? To upset the oil and car companies, along gas and electric companies, the majority of which aren’t owned by UK companies any more, is going to take a very, almost impossible, aggressive strategy and I don’t think any politician around today is up to that.

We can only hope we found someone soon…for the sake of our grandchildren.

Download the report here

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