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Zero Carbon Britain

Zero Carbon Britain

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Published by vbrucker

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Published by: vbrucker on Apr 20, 2011
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10/03/2011

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Foreword
The urgency of action on climate change is being recognised at an ever increasing rate, with new evidence constantlycoming to light. Only last month, Jim Hansen, of the NASA Institute for Space Studies, warned of the possibility of morerapid melting of polar ice, with the implication that sea level rise this century may have been substantially underestimated bythe IPCC Report published earlier this year.We in the developed world have already benefited, over many generations, from abundant fossil fuel energy. Only recentlyhave we realised the damage this is causing, damage that will fall disproportionately on poorer nations.The moralimperative is inescapable, in the first place – for us in the developed world to drastically reduce our greenhouse gasemissions over the next few decades, and also – to use our wealth and our skills to assist poorer countries to developsustainably.The report at the end of last year by Sir Nicholas Stern summarised both the scientific and economic cases for action, witha goal of stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere between 450 and 550 ppm CO
2
equivalent (400–490ppm for CO
2
only).The International Climate Change Convention, signed by all countries in 1992, decided that developedcountries are responsible for taking the first action.Therefore, since CO
2
concentrations are already over 380 ppm, for us toarrive at the lower end of Stern’s range implies large reductions by developed countries before 2030.For such action to be taken demands the creation of an energy perspective that maps the way forward in both energygeneration and use. In my lectures on climate change
1
, I often compare the strategy to the preparation for a voyage. For theboat we are taking, technology can be thought of as the engine and market forces as the propeller. But where is the boatheading? Without a rudder and someone steering, the course will be arbitrary; it could even be disastrous. Every voyageneeds a destination and a strategy to reach it.Let me mention six components of the strategy that should direct any solutions.1.As Gordon Brown has explained
2
, the economy and environment must be addressed together and environmentalconsiderations need to be paramount in establishing economic policy.2.Technology and the market must be recognised as vital tools – but not as masters.3.The long-term must be taken on board, as well as the short-term.4.Adequate investment in research and development must be provided urgently, to bring promising potential technologies(e.g. wave, tidal stream and biofuel technologies) to the ‘starting gate’.5. Energy provision needs to be influenced by social values and ‘quality of life’,for instance, the community benefits of localenergy provision should be recognised.6. Energy security must also be addressed in the strategy debate.
zero
carbon
britain
comprehensively takes on board all these components and demonstrates how they can be integratedtogether. It also recognises the inevitable implication of a target close to zero-carbon and develops, in detail, a possibleenergy strategy for Britain. For such a strategy to be realised in the time scale required, it is vital that government andindustry work much more closely together, both nationally and internationally.The authors of
zero
carbon
britain
present a time-scale for action that begins now. I commend their imagination (coupledwith realism), their integrated view and their sense of urgency, as an inspiration to all who are grappling with the challengethat climate change is bringing to our world.
Sir John Houghton, June 2007
Former Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)Former Director General of the UK Meteorological Office
1 See for instance my Prince Philip Lecture (2005), Climate Change and Sustainable Energy, 2005 available under ‘Talks’ on the John Ray Initiative website, www.jri.org.uk [Live June 2007]2 Address to the Energy and Environment Ministerial Roundtable, 15 March 2005 www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/international/energy-env/index.htm [Live June 2007]
 
Acknowledgements
zero
carbon
britain
is the culmination of a year long collaboration at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT).The projectwas conceived and directed by CAT’s Development Director, Paul Allen.The work has been conducted by and drawn on theknowledge and expertise of the Graduate Students of CAT’s Graduate School for the Environment (GSE), CAT itself, thePublic Interest Research Centre and consultations with many experts in the relevant fields.The process has been led by TimHelweg-Larsen, a lecturer at the GSE and Director of the Public Interest Research Centre.The report has been diligentlyguided to conclusion by research co-ordinator Jamie Bull.We would like to thank Mike Thompson and all the staff of the GSE for their support of the project.The process has involved well over a hundred individuals and it is is not possible to accurately record here the detailed andvaried contributions of all those involved.We hope on this page to give a sense of the contributions made.
Project Director:
Paul Allen
Lead Authors:
Tim Helweg-Larsen and Jamie Bull
Contributing Authors
Key contributors to the final text of the chapters include:
Executive Summary
- Paul Allen, Arthur Girling, Peter Harper
Introduction
- Paul Allen
Global Context
- Tim Helweg-Larsen, Joe Atkinson, Ben Coombes
Framework 
- Tim Helweg-Larsen, Peter Meirion-Jones
Power Down
- Tariq Abdulla, Jamie Bull, Richard Hampton, James Livingstone, Peter Harper, Nick Swallow, Linda Forbes,Sue Waring
Power Up
- Jamie Bull, Duncan Josh, Gavin Harper, Peter Harper, Jo Abbess
Contributing Researchers:
Tim Allan, Jay Anson, Kate Bisson, Liz Buckle, Alan Burgess, Alan Calcott, Paul Capel, Teresa Couceiro, John Cowsill,Sinead Cullen, Beth Ditson, James Dixon Gough, Kevin Ellis, Mariska Evelein, Kate Fewson, Edward Fitsell, Fred Foxon,Peppi Gauci, Jeremy Gilchrist, Jo Gwillim, Jonathan Hill, Terry Hill, Dave Holmes, Phil Horton, Nicolas Jones, Bob Irving,John Kearney, Martin Kemp, Sarah Kent, Jessica Lloyd, Ann Marriott, Pabs Brana Martin, Tamsin McCabe, Audrey Mcleay,Magnus Murray, Oliver Musgrave
,
Sonia Mysko, Ken Neal, Phil Neve, Sally Oakes, Brandon Oram, David Offord, QuentinPalmer, Jason Perry, Jodie Pipkorn, Alice Quayle, Alex Randall, Garrett Reynolds, Matthew Slack, Tom Sorensen, JamesStoney, Candida Spillard, Tom Smelly, Nick Stonier, John Taylor, Keith Thomas, Judith Thornton, Sara Turnbull, JakeVoelcker, Anu Van Warmelo, Douglass Whitton, Caroline Williams
Reviewers:
While the final analysis and text of this report is entirely the responsibility of the authors, there are many who havecommented helpfully on the evolving drafts.The final document does not necessarily reflect the opinions of those whoreviewed it.These include many experts from a range of relevant fields: Richard Blanchard, Brenda Boardman, ColinCampbell, Rob Hopkins, Gavin Killip, Sarah Mander, Bob Todd, John Twidell and David Wasdell, as well as the considerableknowledge of CAT’s own departments.We are especially indebted to Godfrey Boyle of the Open University whoseencouragement, measured critique and extensive knowledge of renewable energy informed the concluding drafts of thisreport.
Editor:
Fred Foxon
Editorial Consultant:
Hannah Davey
EditorialTeam:
Caroline Oakley, Mariska Evelein, Suzanne Galant, Christian Hunt, Stephen Ketteringham, Arthur Girling
Design:
Richard Hawkins, Neil Whitehead, Lisa Iszatt, Ian Rothwell, Jason MorenikejiAt its heart, this report synthesises the insights of three great thinkers;Aubrey Meyer, David Fleming and David Wasdell.Their work on C&C, TEQs and climate feedbacks respectively stand as pillars of hope in effectively addressing the problemsof global climate change.Thank you to Sir John Houghton for his support and encouragement.This page would be incomplete without our sincere thanks to the authors of the original 1977 Alternative Energy Strategy forthe UK, the inspiration for
zero
carbon
britain
: Bob Todd and Chris Alty.
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