World can cut carbon AND travel say UK number crunchers

How does eating meat, using goods shipped by freight or the energy source that we use affect nations’ attempts to cap global warming? A new online tool which lets people fiddle with […]

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By Vicky Ellis

How does eating meat, using goods shipped by freight or the energy source that we use affect nations’ attempts to cap global warming?

A new online tool which lets people fiddle with those very options – lots of wind, using electric or hydrogen-powered cars, for example – is launching today, to show people it is possible to have a 21st century lifestyle and stop climate change.

Developed by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, the research behind it advises:

The CO2 emitted per unit of electricity globally needs to fall by at least 90% by 2050, a minimum of five times more households should heat their homes using electric or zero-carbon sources, while buildings in 2050 must be 50-65% better insulated and cars should be 50% more efficient.

It also suggests more intensive animal farming is needed, with the proportion of beef produced from confined systems (6% today) to be between 3% and 15% by 2050, as well as bigger crop yields.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “For the first time this Global Calculator shows that everyone in the world can prosper while limiting global temperature rises to 2°C, preventing the most serious impacts of climate change. Yet the calculator is also very clear that we must act now to change how we use and generate energy and how we use our land if we are going to achieve this green growth.”

Visit the Carbon Calculator, built with contributions from international organisations in US, China, India and Europe, here.