May 7, 2007 While some governments try to delay action, the switch to a cleaner and more efficient energy system is already underway, according to a new report from WWF.
A new briefing from the global conservation organization — Stop Climate Change: It Is Possible — highlights 15 ways in which people, business and governments can reduce CO2 emissions and help slow global warming. The report also highlights initiatives from around the world, ranging from India to Brazil, that save energy and reduce carbon pollution.
In Thailand, a new law encourages the clean production of energy from biofuel plants that will feed into the electricity grid. Elsewhere, major businesses have signed up for WWF's Climate Savers programme and are actively reducing their carbon emissions. And in the UK, a new campaign shows that people can simply unplug their phone chargers to cut stand-by power consumption.
"Taking action brings real savings and other benefits to consumers and businesses while preventing dangerous climate change," says Hans Verolme, Director of WWF's Global Climate Change Programme. "The planet is running a fever and people are working with WWF to cool it. Global warming is costing us dearly already but by acting now we can avoid future calamities."
The third working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), meeting in Bangkok this week, is expected to show that the cost of doing nothing about global warming is far higher than the cost of cleaning up our economies.
WWF says that to stay below a dangerous rise in temperature of 2°C, the world needs to reduce global CO2 emissions by over 50 per cent by the middle of this century. Independent economic assessments have confirmed that this pays off.
The Stern Review on the economics of climate change, published by the British government in October 2006, showed that doing nothing about climate change can cost the world’s economies up to 20 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, while the cost of climate action remains at 1 per cent.
"We have all the technological and economic tools available today," adds Dr Stephan Singer, Head of WWF's European Climate Change Programme and expert reviewer of the report by IPCC Working Group III.
"Governments now need to implement clean energy solutions and remove the obstacles that still prevent their break-through. The facts are clear, preventing climate change is the best deal for the global economy. So why are we still waiting?"
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