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Five years to save the world


16th May, 2007

Mankind may yet be able to save the planet, but we only have five years to do so.

New research by WWF has leapfrogged the recent IPCC report to draw up a blueprint towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 60-80 per cent by 2050, using only existing technologies.

The report identifies six key methods for tackling climate change:

1. Energy efficiency is key. Energy companies must become ‘energy services companies’, selling efficiency solutions as well as energy units.

2. Deforestation must be halted. The chances of achieving the reduction goals plummet if this is not achieved.

3. The development of low carbon technologies, such as solar, wind, hydro and bio-energy, must be encouraged.

4. Energy storage is important. Wind and solar both provide intermittent sources of power. Methods of energy capture, such as hydrogen, will be necessary.

5. A move should be made towards using gas rather than coal as a electricity generation fuel.

6. Carbon capture and storage – a method of burying  CO2 emissions underground – must be developed as soon as possible.

The authors call for urgent action, combined with strong leadership and global involvement, with all countries playing a part.

Keith Allott, head of WWF-UK's climate change programme, said:
‘This report shows that although the scale of the climate change challenge can seem daunting, it can be tackled provided we act with real urgency.’

This article first appeared in the Ecologist May 2007


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