07 November 2011

PwC UK on Decarbonization

Pricewaterhouse Cooper's has an excellent new report out that looks at trends and projections in decarbonization of the global and national economies. Those familiar with The Climate Fix will find much that is very familiar in this analysis.  Below are a few top line conclusions.

On the recarbonization of the global economy:
In the last 10 years, most countries have reduced the carbon intensity of their economies – albeit too slowly (at on average 0.7% per year). In 2010, however, this decarbonisation trend went into reverse.
On UK climate targets:
Scale of emissions reductions facing UK are now the equivalent to switching off power for three months every year to 2020
On the bottom line:
The results call  into question the current likelihood of  our global decarbonisation ever  happening rapidly enough to avoid 2 degrees of global warming. But 2011 has  thrown up a second challenge as well.  The events of the Arab Spring have  shown the social, economic and political  necessity of delivering not just low  carbon growth, but growth that delivers  on the basic needs, including power, of  the billions at the bottom of the pyramid.
You can download the report here. (Note: I do have a question about the accuracy of their 2010 Australian emissions data which I will ask the authors about.)


  1. Um,decarbonization went into reverse in 2010 because it the world was recovering from a global recession.

  2. -1-Christopher

    Thanks for your comment, but ... Nope. See:


  3. Roger:

    There was another audit, reported in the London Times over the weekend, that claimed the UK could reach the same targets and save $ 50 bn by investing in a mix of 70% nuclear, 30% LNG power generation, rather than the current massive investment in on- and offshore wind farms.

    If you don't have it, I can look up the reference.

  4. -3-Gerard Harbison

    Thanks, yes, please send along ... I don't think that the UK will have any new nuclear by 2020, more gas however is most likely ...

  5. The Sunday Times is paywalled, but this in a fair summary of the story


  6. "2010 australian emissions data"

    According to the Australian government it had a large 'weather related' and 'seasonal swing' component.

  7. -6-Harrywr2

    Excellent, thanks -- thus, the Australian "decarbonization" is a fluke of accounting and not real.

  8. #7 Roger

    the Australian "decarbonization" is a fluke of accounting and not real


  9. The sad part is the unquestioning acceptance of the 2.0oC degree assumption.
    The opportunity cost of the CO2 obsession will be one of the great tragedies of our time and is one of the great failures of our leadership.

  10. Yes due to floods in Queensland. The CDIAC coal emissions figure for Australia for 2010 is totally anomalous though.

  11. All those pages, all those graphs, all those charts.

    The simplified English version of the report:

    "Like all dumb ideas, in the end, reality imposes itself over political whimsy and common sense prevails".