Saturday, June 27, 2009

Solutions to reduce global CO2 emissions?

This is the question that world will have to answer before the new climate deal if we want to have any chance of tackling the climate change. As long as world's energy demand keeps on growing world needs more and more fossil fuels to satisfy ever-growing energy demand, and the more fossil fuels we use the more CO2 emissions are released into the atmosphere. As long as fossil fuels remain dominant energy sources it is difficult to see how will the world reduce CO2 emissions on global level.

The most obvious answer would be strengthening the renewable energy sector but all current estimates say how renewable energy sector still needs at least couple of decades before becoming competitive with fossil fuels. Will climate change wait us for so long? Different climate models have showed that world needs to make drastic CO2 cuts as soon as possible if we want to avoid global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius, a temperature increase that is likely to cause much more serious climate change impact.

So what can we do? We can't stop using fossil fuels because we need them for energy, and we also can't rely on renewables because this energy sector is still to weak. Any alternative? Some say that solution is in clean coal technologies, most notably carbon capture and storage technology but all these "clean energy technologies" are still really in development phase so they can't offer real guarantee for major CO2 cuts.

Another problem are transition countries whose C02 emissions are constantly increasing. Many transition countries are following China's example by using coal to boost their economies. Coal is relatively cheap energy source but is also one of the dirtiest fuels, and the more we use it more CO2 will end in the atmosphere.

As you can see solutions to climate change problem are very limited, and politics is unlikely to give us an exact answer on how to reduce global C02 emissions. What we really need is to ensure more funds to science because science is really are only chance against climate change. Only scientific approach can result in answer to climate change problem, but science has yet to provide us with an adequate answer. In order to do so science will have to answer the question "how to reduce global CO2 emissions and satisfy world's demand for energy in the same time"? Can science ensure quick transition to renewable energy sector or develop clean fossil fuels technologies that would do the trick? The shape of the final solution isn't really so important, the most important is that this solution actually works.

No comments:

Post a Comment