The world that the Rudd Government’s White Paper on Climate Change, and Julia Gillard but not the original (2008) Garnaut Report aspired to—where CO2 emissions are cut rapidly so that atmospheric concentrations fall below 450 ppm—has been described by the International Energy Agency in terms that show it would be colder, poorer and hungrier:
” Cutting emissions sufficiently to meet the 2°C goal would require a far-reaching transformation of the global energy system. In the 450 Scenario, oil demand peaks just before 2020 at 88 mb/d, only 4 mb/d above current levels, and declines to 81 mb/d in 2035. Coal demand peaks before 2020, returning to 2003 levels by 2035. Among the fossil fuels, demand for natural gas is least affected, though it too reaches a peak before the end of the 2020s.” Extract from Factsheet: IEA Energy Outlook 2010 (emphasis added)
If the changes were made by 2020 as the UN and the Rudd-Gillard Governments apparently hoped, this darker world would no doubt be riddled, too, with violent civil revolt against the draconian measures needed to impoverish billions of people and to destroy their aspirations within the space of the next decade.
Now, I’m sorry to see, Ross Garnaut who formerly said the target was impractical, has joined this mad “450-or-bust” campaign.
In his latest update report, Dr Garnaut says:
“The judgement of the Review—that the greater risks of severe consequences under a scenario of 550 ppm concentrations of greenhouse gases make the extra mitigation cost to achieve a 450 ppm outcome worthwhile—has been confirmed… The immediate implication is that avoiding high risks will require large changes in trajectories at an early date.”
The International Energy Agency’s summary of its “450” scenario concludes:
Renewables and nuclear double their current combined share to 38% in 2035. Global energy security is enhanced by the greater diversity of the energy mix.
In view of the energy cuts needed to meet the 450 ppm target, I find the concluding genuflection to ‘sustainability’ totally implausible.