The news today centers around a study just released saying we will need to spend almost $45 trillion in the coming decades to successfully cut greenhouse gases in half.
The raised funds will go to building 1,400 new nuclear power plants (stop thinking of the Simpsons and Chernobyl, they’re safe and necessary) and a vast expansion of wind power (about 17,000 new turbines annually).
The news of this International Energy Agency study comes from today’s Associated Press article. According to that article, we need to start making some big plans:
A U.N.-network of scientists concluded last year that emissions have to be cut by at least half by 2050 to avoid an increase in world temperatures of between 3.6 and 4.2 degrees above pre-18th century levels.
According to those same scientists, if world temperatures increased beyond those levels the earth would experience devastating effects, such as widespread loss of species, famines, droughts, and swamping of heavily populated coastal areas by rising oceans, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Those 18th century pricks (George Washington, the Bastille Day guys, Frederick the Great, Bach, and whatever dynasty the Chinese were chillin’ in) never knew how good they had it.
That $45 trillion figure is assuming the world continues a 3.3% global economic growth, so let’s just hope that keeps up in spite of any huge future recessions, etc. Even still, $45 trillion will be equal to roughly 1.1% of the world’s gross domestic product. What’s a measly 1.1% anyway?
Apparently that 1.1% is 3 times the size of the current U.S. economy. So even if we wanted to foot the bill for the whole thing, we’d come up short. However, the plan calls for $27 trill. of the $45 trillion to be paid by developing countries, who will be responsible for 2/3 of all the world’s greenhouse gases in 2050. We’re looking at you, Brazil and India. Time to step…it…up.
This is another reason why increased investment in emerging markets will be necessary in the ‘green movement’.
So $45 trillion is a lot. I don’t think many of the world leaders thought setting the agenda for saving the planet from ourselves would come at such a huge financial burden. So is it worth it?
Give us a shout with your best Al Gore impersonation in the comments section.
AP: $45 Trillion Needed To Combat Global Warming, June 6, 2008