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Reducing CO2 emissions to 0 by 2050 (is this possible)?

Astronaut View of Fires in Colorado

Scientists clearly agree that climate change is accompanied by more frequent and intense natural disasters, from droughts and forest fires to hurricanes and coastal floods. While it is not possible to determine the exact extent of economic damage, there is strong evidence that the damage may be too severe. The challenge for policy makers is to determine the amount of spending on greenhouse gas (CO2) reduction measures. And to do this, they need to be able to compare the costs of conditional options, including renewable energy sources and electric cars.

This challenge has become more pressing in politics, with climate scientists stressing that emissions reductions must be rapid and deep, with a view to bringing net emissions to zero by 2050.

Some activities that seem costly in the short term may in fact prove costly in the long term

the cost of reducing co2
Kenneth Gillingham and James H. Stock, “The Cost of Reducing Greenhouse Gas
.Emissions
,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 32, no. 4 (Fall 2018): 53–72

The cost of technology in the short term

To calculate the cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the short term, economists estimate the initial cost and divide it by the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered (in tonnes or equivalent). For example, let’s say the government spends $20 million to encourage the development of wind farms to generate electricity and reduce millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. so the cost of reducing emissions will be $20 a tonne. This method is useful for comparing the cost of different ways to reduce emissions.

A significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions requires long-term cost accounting.

Kenneth Gillingham

Cost Comparison


Renewable energy technologies are among the least expensive technologies ever used compared to the technologies currently used in coal-fired electricity generation (dollars per tonne of carbon dioxide, based on 2018 dollar value.

Surprisingly, renewable energy technologies are the cheapest of all. (This can be applied outside the U.S., as most of these renewable energy technologies are commercialized in global markets.) The cost of using wind or solar energy may be lower than expected if implicit or explicit subsidies are taken into account.

However, these estimates do not take into account interruptions in the production of renewable energy—the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow all the time and, in cases where large amounts of energy are not used, storage technologies should be used in addition to renewable energy. such as hydro storage, batteries, or other forms of energy generation that can quickly close the gap when wind or solar energy fades.

Technological change and innovation are key factors in long-term efforts to reduce climate change through the creation of alternatives to fossil fuels.

Is it possible to reduce carbon emissions enough to reach net-zero emissions by 2050?

Yes, it’s even possible these days – the technologies for it already exist. But this massive transformation of the energy system will be costly and difficult if we try to complete it in one step, especially because of the enormous cost of this short-term transition in developing countries that rely on fossil fuels. There are, of course, low-cost measures that can now be implemented, including energy conservation measures, incentives for energy efficiency, and the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy in electricity generation.

And taking into account the estimated social cost of carbon, these measures will actually be less costly than the cost of climate change damage that could be avoided by these measures. But many other approaches are too costly in the short term, especially the effort to encourage the use of new low-carbon technologies. However, policies that have strong potential to encourage innovation can significantly reduce the overall cost in the long run. So when you think about how to fight climate change.

Adopt a long-term perspective based on innovation. Innovations such as compact nuclear reactors and carbon sequestration technologies could be a turning point in reducing net zero greenhouse gas emissions at low cost. And, of course, prediction is an order, “as Danish physicist Niels Bohr says, because of the trajectory.” It’s very difficult, especially to predict the future of technology, to predict the cost of meeting the net-zero target. However, we can plan without regret by providing incentives to encourage the use of low-cost ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and low-carbon innovations, such as moving to an economy-wide carbon pricing system, while making rational investments in new technologies.

Co2 emission
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions by Country – Worldometer

the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is not enough to stop climate change, as the gases already emitted accumulate in the atmosphere and the phenomenon will continue long after 2100
according to the IPCC *.

Changing climatic conditions therefore call for a new situation: current infrastructure, investments and human activities must take into account future climate change and allow you to adapt gradually

the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is not enough to stop climate change, as the gases already emitted accumulate in the atmosphere and the phenomenon will continue long after 2100
according to the IPCC *.

Changing climatic conditions therefore call for a new situation: current infrastructure, investments and human activities must take into account future climate change and allow you to adapt gradually

Can I contribute to reducing CO2 emissions and how?

Co2 emission

This is the top priority! To do so, we must limit our greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible, especially those of CO2. Everyone has to start!
Each of us can help to limit greenhouse gas emissions: avoid waste, reduce energy consumption by insulating our homes, equip ourselves with energy-efficient appliances, travel by car, scooter or plane as little as possible, prefer local and seasonal fruits and vegetables…

For their part, leaders discuss the future of the planet at international conferences, including Conferences of the Parties (COPs). In their countries, they must find compromises between all the actors in society to fulfil the commitments they have made. Manufacturers have already improved their manufacturing processes to save energy and reduce the weight of raw materials and packaging. Some develop less polluting products and eco-designed products in which all stages of the product’s life (from manufacture to disposal) are more environmentally friendly.
Cities implement systems such as urban travel plans. They facilitate travel by developing public transportation, walking and cycling!

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