Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Can emission be cut without hurting growth?

The answer is never be yes or no but the emerging “Alternatives Are Simply Too Expensive” especially for the emerging markets.


Yes: The Transition Can Be Gradual—and Affordable

  • Consider this: From 1990 to 2007, while world emissions rose 38%, world economic growth soared 75%—emissions per unit of economic activity fell by more than 20%. Critics argue we can't possibly increase efficiency enough to hit the 80% goal. In a very limited sense, that's true. Efficiency improvements alone, like the ones that propelled us forward in the past, won't get us where we need to go by 2050. But this plan doesn't rely solely on boosting efficiency. It brings together a host of other changes, such as moving toward greener power sources. What's more, making gradual changes means we don't have to scrap still-productive power plants, but rather begin to move new investment in the right direction.

No: Alternatives Are Simply Too Expensive

  • “Proponents suggest that we give developing nations lower goals to start with, to help them catch up to the rest of the world. But some of the biggest developing nations—and biggest greenhouse-gas emitters—have indicated they won't accept any kind of cap. For one, India has been pretty straightforward for a long time: They'll think about emissions limits when they are as wealthy as the industrialized world is today. How many times do India and China have to say "no" to emissions limits before we believe them?

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