World Energy Outlook 2011 — It Ain’t Pretty

Best science currently indicates that we need to limit the global average temperature increase to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. This is referred to as the 450 Scenario.

The executive summary of the International Energy Agency’s “World Energy Outlook 2011” says that existing new government policies, if implemented, have us on course for more than 3.5°C increase. If these new policies are not implemented we are headed for 6°C or more.

Quoting the executive summary;

If stringent new action is not forthcoming by 2017, the energy-related infrastructure then in place will generate all the CO2 emissions allowed in the 450 Scenario up to 2035, leaving no room for additional power plants, factories and other infrastructure unless they are zero-carbon, which would be extremely costly. Delaying action is a false economy: for every $1 of investment avoided in the power sector before 2020 an additional $4.3 would need to be spent after 2020 to compensate for the increased emissions.

By 2017! We all know the Harper government is a government of climate change deniers and Friedmanites. So whoever we elect in 2015, assuming we manage to dethrone Harper, will have their work cut out for them turning around the causes of CO2 emission increases we make by then and making the structural changes to carry Canada forward as a responsible member of the world community.

Meantime, what can people who actually care about the environmental conditions we live in do?

Some suggestions;

  • Stop the Northern Gateway Project.
  • Stop the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
  • Stop the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • Vote carefully in local and provincial elections.
  • Write your MP.

(Yeah that last one is pretty futile, but if nothing else you’ll be able to say “I informed you thusly!”)

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