Global warming to reach at least 6°C

5th November 2012

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If the current rate of production of carbon emissions continues, temperatures will rise 6°C by the end of the century, warns PwC

In its fourth low-carbon economy index, the accountancy says that to have even a 50% chance of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C, global carbon intensity rates will have to be cut by more than 5% every year until 2050.

The annual report calculates how much carbon dioxide is produced to create a unit of gross domestic product (GDP) in the world’s major economies. In 2011, global carbon intensity fell by 0.7% year-on-year, less than a sixth of what is needed to keep to a 2°C temperature increase, warns the report.

The UK, France and Germany, are leading the way when it comes to cutting emissions, according to the research with carbon intensity falling by 7% last year in the UK, and by 7.7% in France and 6.4% in Germany.

However, reductions in carbon intensity previously seen in emerging economies such as China and India appear to have stalled, as growth and productivity outstrip the developed economies, states the report.

A radical shift in policy will be needed to cut carbon emissions on the scale needed, and organisations should prepare themselves for a future where temperatures are more than a 2°C higher, concludes PwC.

“The new reality is a much more challenging future in terms of planning, financing and predictability,” said Jonathan Grant, director, sustainability and climate change at PwC.

“Even doubling our current annual rates of decarbonisation globally every year to 2050, would still lead to 6°C, making governments’ ambitions to limit warming to 2°C appear highly unrealistic.”
“The risk to business is that it faces more unpredictable and extreme weather, and disruptions to market and supply chains. Resilience will become a watch word in the boardroom.”


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