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Report: Advanced Technologies Will Cut Increase of GHG in APEC Countries, But Emissions Will Still Rise

Apec
APEC members. Click to enlarge.

Investment in cleaner, more advanced and energy efficient technologies could reduce the expected growth of greenhouse gas emissions in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region by about 49% relative to what would otherwise be the case by 2050, according to a new report from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Research Economics (ABARE).

Under current policy, greenhouse gas emissions are projected to be about 130% higher in APEC economies by 2050 (48.2 Gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent) relative to 2004 levels (20.9 Gt CO2-eq), according to the report. In this business-as-usual scenario, energy consumption is projected to increase by about 139% from 5.8 gigatonnes of oil equivalent (Gtoe) in 2004 to 13.7 Gtoe in 2050.

However, even in this advanced technologies scenario, emissions in APEC are still projected to be 17% higher (at 24.4 Gt CO2-eq) than 2004 levels in 2050. The widespread diffusion of energy efficient and low emission technologies globally results in global emissions declining by 45% at 2050 compared with the increased emissions in the reference case, according to ABARE. Despite this large decline, global emissions are still projected to continue to rise in the enhanced technology scenario, increasing by 36% between 2004 and 2050.

This is a considerably higher outcome than the targets climate negotiators agreed to in Vienna last week. There, negotiators officially recognized the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) indication that global emissions of greenhouse gases need to peak in the next 10 to 15 years and then be reduced to very low levels, well below half of levels in 2000 by mid-century, if concentrations are to be stabilized at safe levels.

The Vienna group also officially recognized that avoiding the most catastrophic forecasts made by the IPCC, including very frequent and severe droughts and water-shortages in large parts of the world, would entail emission reductions in the range of 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020 by industrialized countries. (Earlier post.)

The IPCC suggests that an increase in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from 2000 levels of between 10-60% (depending upon the scenario) could result in a global mean temperature increase of between 3.2-4.0°C this century. An increase of 2°C is considered the threshold to entering dangerous climate change.

With energy consumption in APEC economies projected to increase by 140 per cent, investment in technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is crucial. In order to achieve further reductions in emissions, governments may also choose to increase terrestrial sinks in forestry areas by fostering sustainable forest management and lowering the rate of deforestation. APEC economies in particular have a role to play here as they account for around 54 per cent of the global managed and natural forest area.

—Phillip Glyde, ABARE Executive Director

If APEC were able to halve current deforestation rates in tropical Asian member economies over the period 2009–50 this would lead to an estimated 70 per cent fall in forestry related emissions in these economies at 2050 compared with what otherwise would be the case, according to the scenarios analysed in the report.

Further reductions in emissions may be possible with development and deployment of low and near zero emissions technologies beyond those analysed in the report, according to the authors. Further research and development in combination with appropriate policy approaches, including pervasive carbon pricing, could bring forward additional low and near zero emission technologies that would further reduce the link between economic growth and emissions.

APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) economies account for more than half of the world’s energy use, economic output and greenhouse gas emissions and more than a third of the world’s population. Australia Prime Minister John Howard released the report at the beginning of the 15th APEC Economic Leaders Meeting convening in Sydney.

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Comments

Aussie

This has got to be wrong. By 2050 all fossil fuels including coal will in major decline and there won't be much forest left to clear. Manmade emissions will have to decline in that period though methane burps may have taken over as a source of GHGs. We'll have a large population, severe energy shortages and a vastly different environment.

JC

It's a freakin' crisis. The us versus them, or me versus you, phylosophy doesn't cut it anymore. We're all in the extreme efficiency and conservation game together or we're all sunk.

jcwinnie

glub... glub... glub.

Since the 20+ APEC nations include heavy polluting nations such as USA, Canada, Australia, China, Japan etc... it is not suprising to note that APEC nations will pollute more and still be the major polluter in 2050.

Extracting and using more fossil energy + progressively much more alternative energy from agriculture sources will certainly make matters worse.

There are many effective ways to reduce GHG and air pollutants, but some ways may (initially) cost more than dirty cheap coal and cheap oil.

One sure way is to use less energy with more energy efficient machines such as:

1) Geothermal HVAC systems to reduce residential and commercial heating and air conditioning energy consumption by up to 70%. The technology has been around for many years and getting more and more efficient. The higher initial cost can be offset within about 7 years in most cases.

2) New 100+ mpg PHEVs (20+ million a year) to reduce ground most transportation GHG by up to 85%. The quick charge/discharge long lasting batteries + ultra capacitors + light weight in-wheel high torque electric motors are here. The higer initial cost will come down with mass production. The transition cost could be offset with a progressive carbon tax.

3) Coal fired power generating plants could either be cleaned or progressively be replaced with cleaner energy sources such as Solar, Wind, Hydro, Waves, Geothermal and Nuclear. Large hydro reservoirs can store huge amount of variable wind and sun energy if variaable sources are used as core supply and stored hydro for peak demands. Many new water reservoirs can be created in mountainous areas to store peak demands energy.

4. With 100+ million PHEVs and BEVs around, their onboard Energy Storage Units (ESU) could also be used to regulated power grid loads. Building smart (automated remote control) charging-discharging power control units is not much of a challenge.The technology is already here and implementation cost would not be that much if mass produced..

5. Etc.

Stan Peterson

The Devil is in the detail.

If you actually READ the report, you find it filled with assumptions that are entirely ridiculous.

First, the "business as usual" case is not really that at all. It is an impossible straw man, meant to scare you. It essentially assumes that we dismantle present technology, and return to the more primitive technologies of the 1940 and 1950s, so that they can create a mythical grim "present reality", that doesn't exist, and can't even be created to exist.

Ask yourself if anyone, even the most fervid anti-environmentalist polluter, would actually attempt to build a new, "old antiquated plant", to compete with exsiting modern plants. How would it supplant them? How would it not lose money? How would it compete to survive? To ask is to answer the ridiculous proposition.
Yet, This technique is a common feature of Doomsday scenario projections, nonetheless.

Then they talk about an "advanced technology" that is not that at all, but closer to a primitive view of present technological levels. It is a fantasy, with essentially frozen present-day technology levels, except for a pet idea or two.

It is what the world would have looked like, if the Marxists had won the Cold war. No technological advance, little innovation, quality and a better mousetrap, have no importance to the Nomenklatura. It merely agitates the masses.

It gives you the environmental cesspools, of the East bloc. It gives you the steel and auto mills, and Chernobyl reactors, that were revealed to be massively obsolescent, and couldn't compete, except in closed markets. Meanwhile spewing dangerous effluents over the countryside. But if there is nothing else, to what can they be compared?

China froze itself by imperial decree, in the end of the Ming dynasty, and only reawakened in the mid twentieth century after a sleep of 600 years. That is another case of the World of "accelerated technology" that these Prognosticators predict.

The same present day demand for fossil is maintained, merely expanded linearly for growth. They say, for example, that electrical demand will actually decrease somewhat, except for population growth. The new efficient light bulbs, will make a difference; and nobody will use electricity for any thing else, or new usage, in the next fifty years. Bilge.

Mean while petroleum and coal demand will increase.

That is pure hokum. Oil is pretty much a one customer product. Its price in monopolistically and not economically set. Users are responding normally, as they always do, by seeking substitute alternatives. If transportation doesn't use oil, the other users, chemical feed stocks and space heating, are pretty insignificant by comparison. And both of those consuming industries, are rapidly moving away from oil usage, to other substitutes, electrical (and gas) heating and cheaper other fossil, (coal extracts), and even to recycling.

Does anyone here really believe that all the vehicles in 2050 will by oil based for power needs?
Do you? Will some proportion better than 1 percent in their prognostications, be electrical based?
No HEVs?
No PHEVS?
No BEVS?
Really? More Goo and Dribble.

Their "advanced technology world" is a more realistic "business as usual case", with little real innovation. For example, They predict that energy demand for steel making will not change dramatically, when in fact in the US it has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past twenty years. Largely fossil based on coal and coke historically, it is now almost all electrical based, in the mini-mills and specialty steel mills.

We just don't mine much 2.5% iron ore any more; we re-melt 95% scrap steel in mini-mills, for almost all our needs. There is so much iron that has been mined, and high strength alloys can be made with a few percent of cheaper additives rather than tons of mild steel, that there is little need. That recycling, as practiced in the US, (but not worldwide to that degree), is orders of magnitude more energy efficient.

Aluminum scrap has not reached the vast quantity levels of iron, but the same phenomenon will occur in the Aluminum industry, by 2050. Unlike steel, the aluminum industry always had a high component of recycling; so that will accelerate the conversion. By design, most aluminum plants can utilize scrap aluminum input. Yet these "forward visionaries" do not see that coming, either.

By 2050, clean, inexhaustible Fusion power will be growing as a source of energy. They don't see that coming either.

They predict that Nuclear will not increase but 1% over the 46 year period. More Bosh & drivel.

There are over 200 nukes being built worldwide, outside the USA. And 29 are evenprogrammed to be built here in the US. In the US that doubles the US electrical generation from 19 to 40% nuclear. And that is not some "prediction", but orders in the pipeline, for specific designs of plants at specific defined sites.

These plants will start coming on line in 2015-2020. (Just in time for the PHEV revolution.) So thirty years of further expansion beyond the position in 2020, lies beyond that "prognostication" that is already grossly wrong.

They predict we will still get lots of our "reduced electrical demand" from coal but through IGCC and CCS, the carbon will be captured.
Wonderful. I'm all for it. Efficiency is its own reward. Efficiency gains, power rising incomes for all.

But they then go on to say that burning biomass will provide for all the growth in electricity output. DRIVEL.

It is sophistry of interest to Gaia theologians only, to distinguish between a CO2 molecules released to the atmosphere, from "old-fossil" or "new-fossil".

Burning old-fossil Flora of a million years ago, or new-fossil Flora from last years harvest, amounts to the same thing, in its consequence. Carbon is oxidized and CO2 enters the atmosphere. Except to the pseudo-environmentalists, who can theologically distinguish a difference between some CO2 molecules in the air, that they have deemed and painted green.

Until that is, that we actually started to do it, and then they would have an epiphany; discover the sophistry, and denounce burning new-fossil biomass, the habitat of the wild animals. Just as they have done with wind power, that kills raptors.

Garbage IN, Garbage OUT.

jack

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eV23AytI0UI

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