The world must triple or nearly quadruple the amount of zero and low carbon energy it uses to avoid devastating climate change.
That’s the conclusion of a UN report released over the weekend which said nations must act together to stop global temperatures rising more than 2°C above what they were before industrialisation.
It found that between 2000 and 2010, yearly manmade greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rose by 10 billion metric tonnes of carbon equivalent (GtCO2eq).
Nearly half of this increase came directly from energy supply (47%), then industry (30%), transport (11%) and buildings (3%), it said.
Alongside other actions, it advised rapidly improving energy efficiency and boosting zero and low carbon energy sources by three or four times what they are today – all by 2050.
Energy sources it name-checked were of course renewables and nuclear power but also fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage (CCS) to trap the emissions.
Bioenergy with CCS was also suggested in the report that added its scenarios depend on the sort of land use and how much deforestation continues.
The report was released after a week of climate talks in Berlin. It was compiled by a group of scientists known as Working Group III because it is the third in a series by the UN’s climate body, the IPCC.
Cuban climate expert Ramon Pichs-Madruga, co-chair of the report said: “Reducing energy usage would give us more flexibility in the choice of low-carbon energy technologies, now and in the future. It can also increase the cost-effectiveness of mitigation measures.”