Emission Reduction Efforts Will Fail

by William Yeatman on August 31, 1999

in Blog

The Clinton/Gore Administration claims that through the development of energy efficient technologies we can meet our Kyoto targets at little cost. A new report by the Mobil Corporation, however, argues that economic growth in the developing countries will overwhelm any emission reductions that may be made through technology development.

New advances in technology will be helpful in reducing energy emissions, says the report. But even if those technologies are implemented in both the developed and developing countries it will still be impossible to meet the Kyoto targets. The implementation of hybrid electric and fuel-cell vehicles, for example, could reduce developed country emissions to 1990 levels. Implementing the same technology in the developing countries would reduce their emissions by 8 billion tons per year by 2030. “Still,” says the report, “that represents less than 20 percent of the worldwide total for the year.”

“Sheer growth in developing countries simply overwhelms the emissions reductions that countries can achieve with advanced technology,” said Michael Ramage, chief technology officer at Mobil. “And by the end of the 21st century, developing countries are projected to contribute up to 80 percent of the worlds CO2 emissions,” he said (Octane Week, August 30, 1999).

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