Bellona: It is fully possible to reduce emissions by 85 percent

frontpageingressimage_wind_algae_solar_final_web.jpg Photo: Bellona

It is possible to reduce global emissions by 85 percent by 2050, Bellona’s new report, "The Bellona Scenario: How to combat global warming," illustrates by showing that the technologies to solve the issue of climate change are already in our hands. Read the report here:

”The solutions are here. What we need is national, regional and global political leadership that ensures that the solutions are put into use,” says Hauge.

Solutions to the climate crises

The Bellona scenario considers seven steps to halt global warming (numbers in parentheses show the percentages by which each of the steps can help to reduce emissions):

  • Lifestyle change: Bring about a change in consumer behaviour by means of emission-based pricing, increased awareness, and public and market based initiatives (10 percent).
  • Efficiency: Increase efficiency in the transformation of energy and materials into products and services. This is particularly relevant in industry, construction, transport and power generation (24 percent).
  • Renewable energy: Replace fossil fuel energy in power generation, transport, industry and construction with renewable energy. The most promising energy sources in this scenario are solar, biomass and wind energy (13 percent). The effect of the Carbon negative (see below) is an accompanying benefit of this scenario.
  • Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): Capture CO2 from power and industrial plants and store it permanently in underground geological formations (13 percent). This, too, brings the effect of the Carbon negative into play.
  • Carbon negative energy: Absorb atmospheric CO2 by growing modern biomass (algae, among others) on non-agricultural land, and use it in power plants fitted with CCS to achieve net negative emissions (18 percent).
  • Non-CO2 greenhouse gas reduction: Reduce emissions of other greenhouse gases such as methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) from waste, industry and agriculture (11 percent).
  • Land-use change: Manage forests better in order to enhance their role as natural purifiers of CO2 from the atmosphere (11 percent).

A combination of these solutions will together reduce emissions by 85 percent by 2050. Without these solutions climate emissions will increase by 80 percent by 2050.

Climate conference

Frederic Hauge presented the Bellona scenario today at the International Climate Conference 08 (CC8) in the Norwegian town of Sarpsborg. The conference is a cooperative effort between Bellona, the Norwegian electric company Hafslund, and the Club de Madrid, an organisation of former democratic heads of state. The conference has assembled about100 heavyweights from the climate change arena. One of the key participants is Lord Nicolas Stern, former chief economist at the World Bank, who came into the limelight for his stark financial analysis of what climate change would do to the world economy.

Contribution to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009

When world leaders meet at the UN’s climate conference in Copenhagen, Bellona urges them to take the following measures based on Bellona’s report:

  • To make a pledge to reduce emissions by 85 percent by 2050. This essentially means setting a global cap on emissions and a schedule for tightening it.
  • To introduce a radical increase in public funding for developing and demonstrating new climate-friendly technologies.
  • To change market conditions to make it financially attractive to protect the climate.

Anne Karin Sæther, head of information in Bellona ( +47 90 20 55 20,
Frederic Hauge, President of Bellona: +47 90 20 55 20,
Marius Holm, Deputy President of Bellona: +47 95 72 16 32,
Aage Stangeland, Bellona scientific advisor and editor of Bellona’s new report: +47 95 82 29 03