London: Cutting carbon emissions to limit global temperatures to a 2 degree centigrade rise can be achieved while improving living standards, a new online tool shows.
The world can eat well, travel more, live in more comfortable homes, and meet international carbon reduction commitments according to the Global Calculator tool, a project launched today in London by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and co-funded by Climate-Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC).
Built in collaboration with a number of international organisations from India,US, China,and Europe, the calculator is an interactive tool for businesses, NGOs and governments to consider the options for cutting carbon emissions and the trade-offs for energy and land use to 2050.
UK's Energy and Climate Change Minister Ed Davey said, "For the first time this Global Calculator shows that everyone in the world can prosper while limiting global temperature rises to 2 degree C, preventing the most serious impacts of climate change.
"Yet the calculator is also very clear that we must act now to change how we use and generate energy and how we use our land if we are going to achieve this green growth. The UK is leading on climate change both at home and abroad.
"Britain's global calculator can help the world's crucial climate debate this year. Along with the many country-based 2050 calculators we pioneered, we are working hard to demonstrate to the global family that climate action benefits people," he said.
British High Commissioner to India James Bevan said, "The Global Calculator shows that with the right choices climate action is compatible with economic growth. This is a great tool which will allow business, policy makers, and civil society to explore ways to meet their energy demands while staying within the 2 degree C limit".
Using data reviewed by over 150 international experts, this free and interactive tool shows that despite expectations that the world's population will rise from 7 billion currently to 10 billion by 2050, it is physically possible for everyone to have a good standard of living while limiting global temperature rises to 2 degree centigrade.
However, the tool shows that to be successful the world needs to act now and transform the technologies and fuels we use and make smarter use of our land for food, forestry and fuel. For example the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of electricity globally would need to fall by at least 90 per cent and our forests protected and expanded by 5-15 per cent by 2050.