09 May 2011:
IPCC Says Renewables
Could Meet Most of Energy Needs by 2050
Renewable energy could meet 77 percent of the world’s power needs by mid-century if the right policies are put in place, according to a new report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
. According to the report, such a dramatic shift to renewable energy would produce a cumulative carbon dioxide emissions savings of 220 billion to 560 billion tons between 2010 and 2050, or up to a one-third reduction of projected emissions. In 2008, only about 13 percent of the world’s energy came from non-fossil fuel sources
, including the burning of firewood in developing nations, hydropower, and solar and wind power. But the report predicts that renewable energy technologies will become increasingly attractive economically if governments put a price on their environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. Should governments embrace renewable energy programs, concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere can probably be held below 450 parts per million, a major goal of the IPCC. “It is not the availability of the resource, but the public policies that will either expand or constrain renewable energy development over the coming decades,” said Ramon Pichs, co-chairman of the IPCC’s Working Group III, which compiled the report.
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Yale Environment 360
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Business & Innovation
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Antarctica and the Arctic
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A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
Watch the video.
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.