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Energy efficiency, reduced deforestation can reverse emissions trend - report

Jul 6, 2009 - SustainableBusiness.com News

More than 70% of the emissions reductions needed to reverse the growth of global greenhouse gases can be achieved by investing in energy efficiency and reducing deforestation, according to a new report by The Climate Group.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced the release of the report today, as the G8 and Major Economies Forum (MEF) prepare to meet this week in Italy.

Blair called for immediate action on policies put forth in the report.

"Technology for a Low-Carbon Future" concludes that the strategy that should be adopted at the MEF and into the U.N.'s climate treaty negotiations should be to focus on existing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, along with efforts to halt deforestation, which can deliver major short-term cuts in emissions. The report suggests simultaneous investments in next generation technologies--carbon capture and storage, new approaches to nuclear and solar, and emerging biotech based solutions--that will drive down emissions through to the middle of the century.

"This report shows how major reductions even by 2020 are achievable if we focus action on certain key technologies, deploy policies that have been proven to work, and invest now for the development of those future technologies that will take time to mature," Blair said.

The report states that reductions can be delivered by implementing just seven proven policies:

  1. Renewable energy standards
  2. Industry efficiency
  3. Building codes
  4. Vehicle efficiency standards
  5. Fuel carbon content standards
  6. Appliance standards
  7. Policies to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD)

All seven policies have already been successfully implemented in countries around the world but need scaling up, according to the report. While cap and trade systems or other means of creating a carbon price can help provide incentives for businesses to
invest in low-carbon solutions, in the short term at least, it is these seven policy measures and direct action and
investment by governments that will achieve the targets.

Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group, which works internationally with business leaders to accelerate a low carbon economy, said: "Many businesses are already leading the way by investing in innovative and exciting clean technologies--including solar power, electric vehicles and smart buildings--that cut emissions, help growth and create jobs. Politicians must now match this leadership by agreeing challenging targets that provide a clear framework for transformational investment in the low carbon economy."

The report is available at the website below.

Website: www.theclimategroup.org