Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time. Most researchers agree that the increase in temperature on Earth should not exceed more than two degrees. In order to stay within the 2 degrees limit, global CO2 emissions need to be reduced by 27 gigatonnes by the year 2030.
This is possible, but will require mutual understanding and global cooperation about the necessary actions.
As an energy producing company, Vattenfall is committed to find solutions for carbon emissions reduction. In co-operation with McKinsey, Vattenfall analyzed the possibilities to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030.
The analysis revealed significant potential for limiting actual emissions. In a business-as-usual scenario, total annual emissions will increase from 40 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2002 to 58 billion tonnes in 2030. The level of emissions in 1990, the reference year used in the global process was, calculated in the same way, approximately 35 billion tonnes.
Any reasonable likelihood of limiting the global rise in temperature to two degrees centigrade requires that the content of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere be limited to 450 (+/- 50) parts per million. Annual emissions in 2030 must be limited to 31 billion tonnes. In other words a reduction of 27 billion tonnes must be achieved.
Vattenfall’s unique survey, which is one component of the company’s broad climate initiative, shows that this is possible.
No single technology or solution can handle the problem alone, but the sum of all the possibilities makes the necessary change viable. No single region, country or sector can handle the problem alone—everybody is responsible and can contribute.
- Fulfillment of the outlined abatement potential requires political and institutional measures
- A price on CO2 is often a necessary part of creating the incentives for abatement, but it might be sufficient at all times and could be problematic to implement for some types of emissions.
The results of this study was communicated to policy makers around the globe and is used as knowledge base in “3C - combat climate change” – an initiative started by Vattenfall with almost 50 company signatories globally.