Research report

Better energy, greater prosperity: achievable pathways to low-carbon energy systems

25 Apr 2017
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Description

This Energy Transitions Commission report, launched on 25 April 2017, sets out achievable pathways to limit global warming to well below 2˚C while stimulating economic development and social progress.

The report argues that we must reduce carbon emissions by half by 2040 (compared to a business as usual scenario) with further cuts thereafter to achieve the Paris climate objective – limiting global warming to well below 2°C. Simultaneously, we must ensure economic development and access to affordable, sustainable and reliable energy for all, particularly in developing countries. According to the Better Energy, Greater Prosperity report, this is achievable – but business, government and investors must act now to accelerate clean electrification, de-carbonization beyond power and energy productivity improvement.

  • The almost total de-carbonization of power generation and the electrification of a wider set of activities could deliver half the necessary emission cuts by 2040. The collapsing cost of renewables and batteries makes this more achievable and faster than assumed. Governments must reinforce the progress already underway.
  • Stronger public policy and large-scale investment is now required in the de-carbonization of activities – particularly in heavy industry - which cannot be electrified. We know the technologies which might achieve this – such as bioenergy, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage – but progress on cost reduction and scale deployment has been far too slow.
  • A revolution in energy productivity improvements is technically feasible but needs more forceful policies, in order to reach an annual growth rate of 3.0%. (compared to 1.8% today).

The report reflects a unique collaboration between the diverse members of the ETC, which brings together fossil fuels, power and industrial companies, alongside investors, environmental NGOs and researchers, from both developing and developed countries. These diverse allies are agreed not only on the importance of cutting carbon emissions to meet the Paris objectives, but also on how that transition can be achieved while fostering social and economic progress.

Note that the website offers Overview, Executive Summary and Full Report download options.

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PUBLICATION DETAILS

Resource Type: 
APO URI: http://apo.org.au/node/76074
Peer Reviewed: 
No