|Vattenfall has published its map on an interactive website. Click to enlarge.|
A new study released by European energy company Vattenfall concludes that curbing climate change through a sustainable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is technically and financially feasible if existing technical solutions are applied consistently—and globally.
Vattenfall’s Global Climate Impact Abatement Map shows that the cost of stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases at 450 ppm by 2030 in an attempt to limit global average temperature increase to 2° C is equivalent to approximately 0.6% of the total gross world product—on condition that all the identified potential is exploited.
The study maps total global reduction potential, analyzed by six major commercial sectors—power, transport, industry, forestry, buildings, and agriculture—and by six major world regions—Europe OECD, North America, China, other industrial countries, transition economies, and the rest of the world.
|Transport sector. Click to enlarge.|
Vattenfall concluded that the transport sector, which under the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario would contribute 8.8 Gt (15%) of CO2e of the global 58.2 Gt in 2030, could reduce its emissions by 2.8 Gt. That would represent a 32% reduction in emissions compared to BAU. Transportation would then be responsible for 19.5% of the reduced 31.5 Gt of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, according to Vattenfall. (Chart at right.)
Vattenfall presented its Global Climate Impact Abatement Map at a conference in Berlin on Thursday.
What we are presenting in Berlin here today is an outline of a first global map for measures to curb the climate change. Now we must jointly embark on a voyage of discovery on which we gather new knowledge and new information that we can use to further refine this map. Already today, however, we can see that the active protection of the climate is not a utopia – it is possible with the technology we now have at our disposal, and this technology can also be improved. We must immediately set up a global policy framework to enable us to exploit the potential described here. One absolutely vital precondition is that we put a binding global price on the emission of greenhouse gases.—Lars G Josefsson, President and CEO
The empirical data gathered also shows that there are considerable hidden possibilities in the industrialized countries, and particularly in the energy-efficiency field, to protect the climate at a negative cost—that is, by applying measures that finance themselves in that they reduce energy costs.
On a global scale, around 7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions could be saved annually, which corresponds to about seven times the total annual emissions in Germany. Vattenfall estimates that the average cost of avoiding emissions would be €15 per ton CO2 equivalent.
The data also reveals that the potential for protecting the climate is relatively evenly distributed between the investigated sectors and geographical regions. Up to 45% of the potential was found in the industrial and energy sectors, while the developing and threshold countries (excluding China) account for more than 40% of the climate-protection potential.
According to the survey, about 40% of the measures in the industrialized countries can finance themselves.
Last week, a delegation of business leaders including Josefsson and Fulvio Conti, the CEO of Enel, another European power company, presented the global 3C (Combating Climate Change) initiative to President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso.
Josefsson suggested the outline for the 3C initiative during the 14th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in New York in May 2006. More than 15 companies worldwide have endorsed this initiative, demanding an integration of climate issues into the world of markets and trade: ABB; Alstom; Bayer; Deutsche Post World Net; Duke Energy; Endesa; Enel; EnBW; E.ON; Eskom; General Electric; Norske Skog; NRG Energy; PG&E Corporation; Siemens; Suez; Wallenius Lines; Vattenfall.