Greenhouse Gas Emissions could be Phased Out Almost Entirely by 2050

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Written By: Emma Websdale

Phasing out almost all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is “technically and economically feasible” suggests a new study.
1097856381The study, released yesterday by renewable energy consultancy firm Ecofys, concludes that by using technological options available today and in the near future, emissions could be reduced to zero for roughly 90% of all current sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

The report, entitled ‘Feasibility of GHG emissions phase-out by mid-century’ which analyzed models based on existing low emission scenarios, found that several resulted in almost zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Feasible scenarios suggested to achieve this goal include 100% renewable energy production by 2050 or slightly below the 100% figure but with additional carbon capture and storage (CCS) techniques.

Published for the Global Call for Climate Action, the report suggests that a net-phase out of emissions by 2050 would ensure a significant likelihood of remaining under the danger threshold of a 2C global increase– the amount climate experts warn that breeching would create catastrophic weather events.

The report also suggests that a net phase-out of greenhouse gas emissions could host a 50% chance of remaining below a 1.5C global increase in temperature by the end of the century.

The report calls for immediate and unprecedented transition to renewables from almost all countries, stating that the “global economy could cope with such a change”, as cost estimates for low emission scenarios would require less than 5% of annual gross domestic product (GDP) until 2050.

Positive outcomes from implementing low emission scenarios outlined from the report include substantial cost savings, ecosystem preservation and health benefits associated with reductions in water, air and soil pollution.

The release of Ecofys report comes at a crucial time when climate scientists have warned that ocean acidification impacts due to carbon emissions are more severe than previously thought, while others have found that reducing the burning of fossil fuels could save up to 3 million premature deaths a year by 2100.

For information on how Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation (OTE) are working, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the use of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) technology – a renewable energy resource, please visit our “Answers” page.