. 12
( 13)


the estuary at La Rance in France; the ¬‚ow from the barrage is directed
through turbines as the tide ebbs so generating electricity with a capacity
of up to 240 MW. Several estuaries in the world have been extensively
studied as potential sites for tidal energy installations. The Severn Estu-
ary in the UK, for instance, possesses one of the largest tidal ranges in
the world and has the potential to generate a peak power of over 8000
MW or about six per cent of the total UK electricity demand. Although
the long-term cost of the electricity generated from the largest schemes
could be competitive, the main deterrents to such schemes are the high
capital up-front cost and the signi¬cant environmental impacts that can
be associated with them. More recent proposals, rather than making use
of estuaries, have been based on the construction of tidal ˜lagoons™ in
suitable shallow regions off shore where there is a large tidal range.57
Turbines in the lagoon walls generate electricity as water ¬‚ows in and
out of the lagoons. Some of the environmental and economic problems
of barrages built in estuaries are therefore avoided.
The energy in currents (including tidal streams) in the ocean can be
exploited in much the same way as wind energy from the atmosphere is
harnessed. Although the speeds in water are lower than that of the wind,
the greater density of sea water results in higher energy densities and
requires smaller turbine diameters. Substantial energy is also present in
ocean waves and a number of ingenious devices have been designed to
306 Energy and transport for the future

turn this into electrical energy.58 The waters around the British Isles con-
tain some of the best opportunities to exploit all forms of tidal and wave
energy. Because of the hostile ocean environment, early exploitation of
some of these may be comparatively costly, but the size of the potential
resource is large. What is urgently needed is the necessary research and

The support and ¬nancing of renewable energy
Renewable energy on the scale required to meet any stabilisation scen-
ario for carbon dioxide (for instance WEC scenario C “ see Table 11.5)
will only be realised if it is competitive in cost with energy from other
sources. Table 11.6 provides a summary of the status and costs, present
and future, of the main sources of renewable energy. Under some cir-
cumstances renewable energy sources are already competitive in cost,
for instance in providing local sources of energy where the cost of trans-
porting electricity or other fuel would be signi¬cant; some examples of
this (such as Fair Isle in Scotland “ see box above) have been given.
However, when there is direct competition with fossil fuel energy from
oil and gas, as Table 11.6 shows, many renewable energies at the present
compete only marginally. In due course, as easily recoverable oil and gas
reserves begin to run out, those fuels will become more expensive en-
abling renewable sources to compete more easily.59 That is some decades
away and, since estimates of recoverable fossil fuel reserves have always
tended to be low, it may be well into the second half of the twenty-¬rst
century before any substantial limitation in oil and gas resources occurs.
Before then in order that renewables begin to displace fossil fuels to the
extent required, appropriate ¬nancial incentives must be introduced to
bring about the change.
As we saw in Chapter 9, the basis of such incentives would be the
principle that the polluter should pay by the allocation of an environ-
mental cost to carbon dioxide emissions. There are three main ways in
which this can be done. Firstly, through a direct subsidy being provided
by governments to renewable energy. Secondly, through the imposition
of a carbon tax. Suppose, for instance, that through taxes or levies an
additional cost of between $US 50 and 100 per tonne of carbon (¬gures
mentioned in the context of environmental costs towards the end of Chap-
ter 9) were to be associated with carbon dioxide emissions, between 0.5
and 2.5 cents per kWh would be added to the price of electricity from
fossil fuel sources (Table 11.6) “ which could bring some renewables
(for instance, biomass and wind energy) into competition with them.60
It is interesting to note that in many countries substantial subsidies are
The support and ¬nancing of renewable energy 307

attached to energy “ worldwide they amount on average to the equivalent
of about $US 40 per tonne of carbon.61 A start with incentives would
therefore be made if subsidies were removed from energy generated from
fossil fuel sources.
A third way of introducing an environmental cost to fossil fuel energy
is through tradeable permits in carbon dioxide emissions, as are being in-
troduced under arrangements for the management of the Kyoto Protocol
(Chapter 10, page 248). These control the total amount of carbon dioxide
that a country or region may emit while providing the means for industries
to trade permits for their allowable emissions within the overall total.
These ¬scal measures are relatively easy to apply in the electricity
sector. Electricity, however, only accounts for about one-third of the
world™s primary energy use. They also need to be applied to solid, liquid
or gaseous fuels that are used for heating, industry and transport. It
has already been mentioned that, currently, liquid fuels such as ethanol
derived from biomass are about twice as expensive as those derived
from oil. Although there is an expectation that the processing of biomass
will become more ef¬cient62 “ the rapid development of technologies
in bioengineering will help “ it is unlikely that in the short term the
substitution of biomass-derived fuels will occur on a signi¬cant scale
without the application of appropriate ¬nancial incentives.
There is a further crucial area where incentives are also required
if renewable energy sources are going to come on stream suf¬ciently
rapidly to meet the need. That is the area of research and development
(R & D) “ the latter is especially vital. Government R & D, averaged
worldwide, currently runs at about ten billion US dollars per year or about
one per cent of worldwide capital investment in the energy industry of
about one trillion (million million) dollars per year (about three per cent
of GWP). On average, in developed countries it has fallen by about a
factor of two since the mid 1980s. In some countries the fall has been
much greater. This is particularly true in the UK where government-
sponsored energy R & D fell by about a factor of ten from the mid 1980s
to 1998 when, in proportion to GDP, it was only one-¬fth of that in
the USA and one-seventeenth of that in Japan.63 It is surprising “ and
concerning “ that such falls in R & D have occurred at a time when the
need to bring new renewable energy sources on line is greater than it has
ever been. Energy R & D should be substantially increased to well over
one per cent of the energy™s total investment so as to enable promising
renewable technologies to be introduced more quickly.
More appreciation of the value of renewable energy sources and
their potential together with signals such as increased R & D in renew-
able technologies will provide necessary encouragement for the rapid
increase in investment in these sources that is required. We have already
308 Energy and transport for the future

mentioned that sustained growth of thirty per cent or more per year is
needed in wind and solar energy in order to meet the targets for 2020
set by carbon dioxide stabilisation scenarios (e.g. WEC scenario C). In-
creased growth in biomass sources is also necessary. This means that an
increasing and substantial fraction of capital investment in the energy
industry will have to go into new renewable sources. In the box below
are listed some of the policy instruments that need to be applied for this
revolution in the way we generate our energy to really get under way.
In a recent speech, Lord John Browne, the Group Chief Executive of
British Petroleum, has emphasised the importance of actively planning
for the long term. After explaining the steps to be taken to combat change
in the energy sector and the major investments that will be required he
goes on to say64 :

If such steps are to be taken, it is important to demonstrate the real value of
taking a long-term approach which transcends the gap in time between the
costs of investment and the delivery of the bene¬ts. Political decisions are
often taken on a very short-term basis and the challenge is to demonstrate
the bene¬ts of the actions which need to be taken for the long term . . .
The role of business is to transform the possibilities into reality. And that
means being severely practical “ undertaking very focused research and
then experimenting with the different possibilities. The advantage of the
fact that the energy business is now global is that international companies
can both access the knowledge around the world and can then apply it very
quickly throughout their operations.

Nuclear energy
An energy source mentioned rather little so far is nuclear energy. It is
not strictly a renewable source, but it has considerable attractiveness
from the point of view of sustainable development because it does not
produce greenhouse gas emissions (apart from a small amount, which
is used in making the materials employed in the construction of nuclear
power stations) and because the rate at which it uses up resources of
radioactive material is small compared to the total resource available.
It is only ef¬ciently generated in large units, so is suitable for supply-
ing power to national grids or to large urban connurbations, but not
for small, more localised supplies. An advantage of nuclear energy in-
stallations is that the technology is known; they can be built now and
therefore contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in the
short term. The cost of nuclear energy compared with energy from fos-
sil fuel sources is often a subject of debate; exactly where it falls in
relation to the others depends on the return expected on the up-front
Nuclear energy 309

Policy instruments
Action in the energy sector on the scale required to mitigate the effects of
climate change through reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases
will require signi¬cant policy initiatives by governments in co-operation
with industry. Some of these initiatives are the following65 :
r putting in place appropriate institutional and structural frame-
r energy pricing strategies (carbon or energy taxes and reduced
energy subsidies);
r reducing or removing other subsidies (e.g. agricultural and trans-
port subsidies) that tend to increase greenhouse gas emissions;
r tradeable emissions permits66 ;
r voluntary programmes and negotiated agreements with industry;
r utility demand-side management programmes;
r regulatory programmes, including minimum energy ef¬ciency
standards (e.g. for appliances and fuel economy);
r stimulating research and development to make new technologies
r market pull and demonstration programmes that stimulate the de-
velopment and application of advanced technologies;
r renewable energy incentives during market build-up;
r incentives such as provisions for accelerated depreciation or re-
duced costs for consumers;
r information dissemination for consumers especially directed to-
wards necessary behavioural changes;
r education and training programmes;
r technological transfer to developing countries;
r provision for capacity building in developing countries;
r options that also support other economic and environmental goals.

capital cost and on the cost of decommissioning spent power stations
(including the cost of nuclear waste disposal), which represent a signif-
icant element of the total. Recent estimates are that the cost of nuclear
electricity is similar to the cost of electricity from natural gas when
the additional cost of capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide is
The continued importance of nuclear energy is recognised in the
WEC energy scenarios, which all assume growth in this energy source
in the twenty-¬rst century. How much growth will be realised will depend
to a large degree on how well the nuclear industry is able to satisfy the
general public of the safety of its operations; in particular that the risk
of accidents from new installations is negligible, that nuclear waste can
310 Energy and transport for the future

be safely disposed of, that the distribution of dangerous nuclear material
can be effectively controlled and that it can be prevented from getting
into the wrong hands.
A further nuclear energy source with great potential depends on
fusion rather than ¬ssion (see box below in next section, page 312, ˜Power
from Nuclear Fusion™).

Technology for the longer term
This chapter has concentrated mostly on what can be achieved with
available and proven technology during the next few decades. It is also
interesting to speculate about the more distant future and what relatively
new technologies may become dominant during the twenty-¬rst cen-
tury. In doing so, of course, we are almost certainly going to paint a
more conservative picture than will actually occur. Imagine how well
we would have done if asked in 1900 to speculate about technology
change by 2000! Technology will certainly surprise us with possibilities
not thought of at the moment. But that need not deter us from being
There is general agreement that a central component of a sustainable
energy future is the fuel cell that with high ef¬ciency converts hydrogen
and oxygen directly into electricity (see box below). In the fuel cell the
electrolytic process of generating hydrogen and oxygen from water is
reversed “ the energy released by recombination of the hydrogen and
oxygen is turned back into electrical energy. Fuel cells can have high
ef¬ciency of ¬fty to eighty per cent and they are pollution free; their
only output other than electricity is water. They offer the prospect of
high ef¬ciency, small-scale power generation. They can be made in a
large range of sizes suitable for use in transport vehicles or to act as
local sources of electrical power for homes, for commercial premises or
for many applications in industry. Much research and development has
been put into fuel cells in recent years that has con¬rmed their potential
as an important future technology. There seems little doubt that they will
come into widespread use within the next decade.
Hydrogen for fuel cells can be generated from a wide variety of
renewable sources (see box above). Of these, from many points of
view, the one that is most attractive is through the hydrolysis of water
using electricity from photovoltaic (PV) cells exposed to sunlight
(Figure 11.16) “ a very ef¬cient process; over ninety per cent of the
electrical energy can be stored in the hydrogen. There are many regions
of the world where sunshine is plentiful and where suitable land not
useful for other purposes would be readily available. It is a very clean,
non-polluting technology, easily adaptable to mass production. The cost
Technology for the longer term 311

Fuel cell technology

A fuel cell converts the chemical energy of a fuel with ef¬ciencies in the range of forty to eighty per
directly into electricity without ¬rst burning it to cent.
produce heat. It is similar to a battery in its construc- Hydrogen for fuel cells may be supplied from a
tion. Two electrodes (Figure 11.15) are separated wide variety of sources, from coal or other biomass
(see Note 24), from natural gas,68 or from the hy-
by an electrolyte which transmits ions but not elec-
trons. A fuel cell has a theoretical ef¬ciency of one drolysis of water using electricity generated from
hundred per cent. Fuel cells have been constructed renewable sources such as wind power or solar pho-
tovoltaic (PV) cells (see box on page 302).

Figure 11.15 Schematic of a hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell. Hydrogen is supplied to the porous anode
(negative electrode) where it dissociates into hydrogen ions (H+ ) and electrons. The H+ ions migrate
through the electrolyte (typically an acid) to the cathode (positive electrode) where they combine with
electrons (supplied through the external electrical circuit) and oxygen to form water.

of PV electricity has been coming down rapidly (Figure 11.13) “ a trend
that will continue with technological advances and with increased scale
of production.
Hydrogen is also important for other reasons. It provides a medium
for energy storage and it can easily be transported by pipeline or bulk
transport. The main technical problem to be overcome is to ¬nd ef¬cient
and compact ways of storing hydrogen. Present technology (primarily
in cylinders at high pressure) is bulky and heavy, especially for use in
transport vehicles. A number of other possibilities are being explored.
Most of the technology necessary for a solar-hydrogen energy
economy is available now, although the cost of energy supplied this way
312 Energy and transport for the future

Figure 11.16 A solar photovoltaic (PV) electrolytic hydrogen system.

would at the moment be several times that from fossil fuel sources.69
As the technology for its further development progresses and as larger-
scale production becomes possible, the cost will undoubtedly reduce
substantially. If its attractiveness from an environmental point of view

Power from nuclear fusion
When at extremely high temperatures the nuclei of hydrogen (or one
of its isotopes, deuterium or tritium) are fused to form helium, a large
amount of energy is released. This is the energy source that powers the
Sun. To make it work on Earth, deuterium and tritium are used; from 1 kg,
1 GW can be generated for one day. The supply of material is essentially
limitless and no unacceptable pollution is produced. A temperature of
one hundred million degrees celsius is required for the reaction to occur.
To keep the hot plasma away from the walls of the reaction vessel,
it is con¬ned by strong magnetic ¬elds in a ˜magnetic bottle™ called a
Tokamak. The challenges are to create effective con¬nement and a robust
Fusion power70 has been produced on Earth at levels up to 16 MW.
This has generated the con¬dence in a consortium of countries to build
a new power-station-scale device called ITER capable of 500 MW with
the object of demonstrating commercial viability. If this is successful, it
is estimated that the ¬rst commercial plant could be in operation within
thirty years.
Technology for the longer term 313

Energy policy in the UK
Three important reports concerned with energy policy have been pub-
lished in the UK in the last few years.
The ¬rst of these is Energy in a Changing Climate published in 2000
by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP)71 “ an
expert body that provides advice to government. It supported the concept
of ˜contraction and convergence™ (Figure 10.3) as the best basis for future
international action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pointed out
that application of this concept would imply a goal of sixty per cent
reduction in UK emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. National quotas
calculated on this basis should be combined with international trading
in emission permits. To achieve such a goal more effective measures
are needed to increase energy ef¬ciency (especially in buildings) and
to encourage the growth of renewable energy sources for instance by
greatly increased research and development.
The second report is an Energy Review by the Policy and Innovation
Unit (PIU) of the UK Cabinet Of¬ce72 published in 2002. This review
provided an important input into the third report which is a statement of
energy policy published by the UK government in 200373 known as the
Energy White Paper and entitled Our Energy Future: Creating a Low
Carbon Economy. The White Paper accepts the need for a UK strategy to
meet the goal set by the RCEP of a sixty per cent reduction in emissions
by 2050. The main pillars of the strategy, that must be implemented im-
mediately, will be the aggressive promotion of energy ef¬ciency (targets
in the domestic sector of twenty per cent improvement in 2010 and a
further twenty per cent by 2020) and expanding the role of renewables
(target of twenty per cent electricity generated from renewable sources
by 2020). In addition, the options of new investment in nuclear power
and in clean coal (through carbon sequestration) need to be kept open
and further explored.
An estimate is provided in the review of the cost to the UK economy
of realising the RCEP goal. The cost estimate is not large; it is expressed
as a possible slowing in the growth of the UK economy of six months
over the ¬fty-year period.
The picture of the future that these reports present is one where
even by 2020 large changes will have occurred. There will be moves
to more local energy supplies (much of it from renewable sources), to
widespread use of vehicles driven by hybrid engines or by fuel cells and
to the beginning of the development of an energy infrastructure based
on hydrogen rather than on coal, oil or gas.
314 Energy and transport for the future

were recognised as a dominant reason for its rapid development, a solar-
hydrogen economy could take off more rapidly than most energy analysts
are currently predicting.
Iceland is a country that is in the forefront of the development
of a hydrogen economy and aspires to be largely free of the use of
fossil fuels by 2030“2040. Much of its electricity already comes from
hydroelectric or geothermal sources. The ¬rst hydrogen fuel station in
Iceland was opened in April 2003 and several buses powered by fuel
cells are its ¬rst customers.
Finally, in this section looking at the longer term, there is the pos-
sibility of power from nuclear fusion, the energy that powers the Sun
(see box). If this can be harnessed, virtually limitless supplies of energy
could be provided. The result of the next phase in this programme of
work will be watched with great interest.

This chapter has outlined the ways in which energy for human life and
industry is currently provided. Growth in conventional energy sources
at the rate required to meet the world™s future energy needs will gen-
erate greatly increased emissions of greenhouse gases that will lead to
unacceptable climate change. Such would not be consistent with the
agreements reached at the United Nations Conference on Environment
and Development at Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 when the countries of
the world committed themselves to the action necessary to address the
problems of energy and the environment. During the twenty-¬rst cen-
tury, emissions of carbon dioxide must be substantially reduced (e.g. as
in WEC scenario C) as required by the Objective of the Climate Con-
vention so that the concentration in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide is
stabilised by the end of the century. In order to achieve the large changes
required, four areas of action are essential:
r Many studies have shown that in most developed countries improve-
ments in energy ef¬ciency of thirty per cent or more can be achieved
at little or no net cost or even at some overall saving. But industry and
individuals will require not just encouragement, but modest incentives
if the savings are to be realised.
r Much of the necessary technology is available for renewable energy
sources (especially ˜modern™ biomass, wind and solar energy) that
can go a long way towards replacing energy from fossil fuels to be
developed and implemented. For this to be done on an adequate scale,
an economic framework with appropriate incentives will need to be set
up. Policy options available include the removal of subsidies, carbon or
Questions 315

energy taxes (which recognise the environmental cost associated with
the use of fossil fuels) and tradeable permits coupled with capping of
r Arrangements are needed to ensure that technology is available for all
countries (including developing countries through technology trans-
fer) to develop their energy plans with high ef¬ciency and to deploy
renewable energy sources (for instance, local solar energy or wind
generators) as widely as possible.
r With world investment in the energy industry running at around one
million million US dollars per year, there is a great responsibility
on both governments and industry to ensure that energy investments
(including an adequate level of research and development) take long-
term environmental requirements fully into account.

These actions require clear policies, commitment and resolve on the
part of governments, industries and individual consumers. Because of
the long life time of large energy infrastructure (e.g. power stations) and
also because of the time required for the changes required to be realised,
there is an urgency about the actions required. As the World Energy
Council point out ˜the real challenge is to communicate the reality that
the switch to alternative forms of supply will take many decades, and
thus the realization of the need, and commencement of the appropriate
action, must be now™ (their italics).74

1 Estimate how much energy you use per year in your home or your apartment.
How much of this comes from fossil fuels? What does it contribute to emissions
of carbon dioxide?
2 Estimate how much energy your car uses per year. What does this contribute
to emissions of carbon dioxide?
3 Look up estimates made at different times over the last thirty years of the size
of world reserves of coal, oil and gas. What do you deduce from the trend of
these estimates?
4 Estimate the annual energy saving for your country as a result of: (1) un-
necessary lights in all homes being switched off; (2) all homes changing all
light bulbs to low energy ones; (3) all homes being maintained 1 —¦ C cooler
during the winter.
5 Find out for your country the fuel sources which contribute to electricity
supply. Suppose a typical home heated by electricity in the winter is converted
to gas heating, what would be the change in annual carbon dioxide emissions?
6 Find out about the cost of heat pumps and building insulation. For a typi-
cal building, compare the costs (capital and running costs) of reducing by
seventy-¬ve per cent the energy required to heat it by installing heat pumps
or by adding to the insulation.
316 Energy and transport for the future

7 Visit a large electrical store and collate information relating to the energy con-
sumption and the performance of domestic appliances: refrigerators, cook-
ers, microwave ovens and washing machines. Which do you think are the
most energy ef¬cient and how do they compare with the least energy ef¬-
cient? Also how well labelled were the appliances with respect to energy
consumption and ef¬ciency?
8 Consider a ¬‚at-roofed house of typical size in a warm, sunny country
with a ¬‚at roof incorporating 50 mm thickness of insulation (refer to
Table 11.3). Estimate the extra energy which would have to be removed
by air conditioning if the roof were painted black rather than white. How
much would this be reduced if the insulation were increased to a thickness
of 150 mm?
9 Rework the calculations of total heating required for the building considered
in Table 11.3 supposing insulation 250 mm thick (the Danish standard) were
installed in the cavity walls and in the roof.
10 Look up articles about the environmental and social impact of large dams.
Do you consider the bene¬ts of the power generated by hydroelectric means
are worth the environmental and social damage?
11 Suppose an area of 10 km2 was available for use for renewable energy sources,
to grow biomass, to mount PV solar cells or to mount wind generators. What
criteria would determine which use would be most effective? Compare the
effectiveness for each use on a typical area of your country.
12 What do you consider the most important factors which prevent the greater
use of nuclear energy? How do you think their seriousness compares with
the costs or damages arising from other forms of energy production?
13 In the IPCC 1995 Report chapter 19, you will ¬nd information about the
LESS scenarios. In particular estimates are provided, for the different alter-
natives, of the amount of land that will be needed in different parts of the
world for the production of energy from biomass. For your own country or
region, ¬nd out how easily, on the timescale required, it is likely that this
amount of land could be provided. What would be the likely consequences
arising from using the land for biomass production rather than for other
14 In making arguments for a carbon tax would you attempt to relate it to the
likely cost of damage from Global Warming (Chapter 9), or would you relate
it to what is required to enable appropriate renewable energies to compete
at an adequate level? From the information in Table 11.6 and any further
data to which you have access, what level of carbon tax do you consider
would be likely to enable there to be greater employment of different forms
of renewable energy: (1) at the present time, (2) in 2020?
15 In discussing policy options, attention is often given to ˜win-win™ situations
or to those with a ˜double dividend™, i.e. situations in which, when a particular
action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, additional bene¬ts arise
as a bonus. Describe examples of such situations.
16 Of the policy options listed towards the end of the chapter, which do you
think could be most effective in your country?
Notes 317

17 List the various environmental impacts of different renewable energy
sources, biomass, wind and solar PV. How would you assess the serious-
ness of these impacts compared with the advantages to the environment
of the contribution from these sources to the reduction of greenhouse gas

Notes for Chapter 11
1 See the relevant parts of the 1995 and 2001 IPCC Reports:
Watson, R. T., Zinyowera, M. C., Moss, R. H. (eds.) 1996. Climate Change
1995: Impacts, Adaptations and Mitigation of Climate Change: Scienti¬c-
Technical Analyses. Contribution of Working Group II to the Second Assess-
ment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, Summaries, Energy Primer and Chapters 19,
20, 21 and 22. Metz, B., Davidson, O., Swart, R., Pan, J. (eds.) 2001. Climate
Change 2001: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Third
Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Summaries and Chapter 3.
See also IPCC Technical Paper number 1 Technologies, Policies and
Measures for Mitigating Climate Change. Geneva: IPCC, 1997.
2 1 toe = 11.7 MWh; 1 toe per day = 487 kW; 1 toe per year = 1.33 kW.
3 Report of G8 Renewable Energy Task Force, July 2001.
4 Moomaw, W. R., Moreira, J. R. et al. 2001. Technological and economic
potential of greenhouse gas emissions reduction. In Metz, Climate Change
2001: Mitigation, Chapter 3.
5 See Moomaw, W. R., Moreira, J. R. et al. 2001. Technological and economic
potential of greenhouse gas emissions reduction. In Metz, Climate Change
2001: Mitigation, Chapter 3.
6 From Energy for Tomorrow™s World: the Realities, the Real Options and
the Agenda for Achievement. WEC Commission Report. New York: World
Energy Council, 1993.
7 Renewable Energy Resources: Opportunities and Constraints 1990“2020.
Report 1993. London: World Energy Council.
8 A review of many of these can be found in Morita, T., Robinson, J. et al.
2001. Greenhouse gas emission mitigation scenarios and implications. In
Metz, Climate Change 2001: Mitigation, Chapter 2.
9 From Energy for Tomorrow™s World: the Realities, the Real Options and
the Agenda for Achievement. WEC Commission Report. New York: World
Energy Council, 1993, p. 122.
10 From Energy for Tomorrow™s World: the Realities, the Real Options and
the Agenda for Achievement. WEC Commission Report. New York: World
Energy Council, 1993, p. 113.
11 Ways of achieving large reductions in all these sectors are described by von
Weizacker, E., Lovins, A. B., Lovins, L. H. 1997. Factor Four, Doubling
Wealth: Halving Resource Use. London: Earthscan.
318 Energy and transport for the future

12 More detail of heat pumps and their applications in Smith, P. F.
2003. Sustainability at the Cutting Edge. London: Architectural Press,
pp. 45“50.
13 From National Academy of Sciences, Policy Implications of Greenhouse
Warming. 1992. Washington DC: National Academy Press, Chapter 21.
14 Smith, Sustainability, pp. 135“7.
15 See, for instance, von Weizacker, E., Lovins, A. B., Lovins, L. H. 1997.
Factor Four, Doubling Wealth: Halving Resource Use. London: Earthscan,
pp. 28“9.
16 www.zedfactory.com/bedzed/bedzed.html.
17 See Moomaw, W. R., Moreira, J. R. et al. 2001. Technological and economic
potential of greenhouse gas emissions reduction. In Metz, Climate Change
2001: Mitigation, Chapter 3, Table 3.5.
18 Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 18th and 20th Reports
Transport and the Environment. London: HMSO, 1994 and 1997. Also see
Moomaw, W. R., Moreira, J. R. et al. 2001. Technological and economic
potential of greenhouse gas emissions reduction. In Metz, Climate Change
2001: Mitigation, Section 3.4.
19 From the Summary for Policymakers in Penner, J. et al. 1999. Aviation and
the Global Atmosphere. A special report of the IPCC. Cambridge: Cam-
bridge University Press.
20 More detail in Moomaw and Moreira, in Metz, Climate Change 2001: Mit-
igation, Section 3.4.
21 Example quoted in Energy, Environment and Pro¬ts. 1993. London: Energy
Ef¬ciency Of¬ce of the Department of the Environment.
22 See, for instance, National Academy of Sciences, Policy Implications of
Greenhouse Warming. 1992. Washington DC: National Academy Press,
Chapter 22; also Energy for Tomorrow™s World: the Realities, the Real Op-
tions and the Agenda for Achievement. WEC Commission Report. New
York: World Energy Council, 1993, Chapter 4; Kashiwagi, T. et al. 1996.
Industry. In Watson, Climate Change 1995: Impacts, Chapter 20; Moomaw
and Moreira. In Metz, Climate Change 2001: Mitigation, Chapter 3.
23 From speech by Lord Browne, BP Chief Executive to the Institutional
Investors Group, London, 26th November 2003.
24 Carbonaceous fuel is burnt to form carbon monoxide, CO, which then reacts
with steam according to the equation CO + H2 O = CO2 + H2 .
25 See Putting Carbon Back in the Ground. Report by IEA Greenhouse Gas R
& D Programme, www.ieagreen.org.uk.
26 ˜Large™ hydro applies to schemes greater than ten megawatts in capacity;
˜small™ hydro to schemes smaller than ten megawatts.
27 Sources of comprehensive information about renewable energy are: Boyle,
G. (ed.) 1996. Renewable Energy Power for a Sustainable Future. Oxford:
Oxford University Press; Johansson, T. B. et al. 1993. Renewable Energy.
Washington DC: Island Press; Renewable Energy Resources. World En-
ergy Council Report. 1993. London: World Energy Council; Moomaw,
W. R., Moreira, J. R. et al. 2001. Technological and economic potential of
Notes 319

greenhouse gas emissions reduction. In Metz, Climate Change 2001: Miti-
gation, Chapter 3.
28 Moreira, J. R., Poole, A. D. 1993. Hydropower and its constraints. In Johans-
son, Renewable Energy, Chapter 2, pp. 73“119.
29 Martinot, E. et al. 2002. Renewable energy markets in developing countries.
Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 27, pp. 309“48. Note that
the de¬nition of ˜small hydro™ is usually units less than 10 MW capacity.
Different numbers that may be quoted for ˜small hydro™ may arise from
different de¬nitions of ˜small™ as compared with ˜large hydro™.
30 Moreira, J. R., Poole, A. D. 1993. Hydropower and its constraints. In Johans-
son, Renewable Energy, pp. 73“119.
31 See review by Loening, A. 2003. Land¬ll gas and related energy sources;
anaerobic digesters; biomass energy systems. In Issues in Environmental
Science and Technology, No. 19. London: Royal Society of Chemistry,
pp. 69“88.
32 Moomaw and Moreira, in Metz, Climate Change 2001: Mitigation, Sec-
33 From Goldemberg, J. (ed.) World Energy Assessment: Energy and the Chal-
lenge of Sustainability. United Nations Development programme (UNDP),
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA)
and World Energy Council (WEC), New York. Original source, Energy
Balances of OECD Countries. Paris: International Energy Agency, 1999.
34 Twidell, J., Weir, T. 1986. Renewable Energy Resources. London: Spon
Press, p. 291.
35 These projects are supported by the Shell Foundation, a charity set up to
promote sustainable energy for the Third World.
36 See Mills, E., Wilson, D., Johansson, T. 1991. In Jager, J., Ferguson, H. L.
1991. Climate Change: Science, Impacts and Policy Proceedings of the Sec-
ond World Climate Conference. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
pp. 311“28.
37 See review by Loening, A. 2003. Land¬ll gas and related energy sources;
anaerobic digesters; biomass energy systems. In Issues in Environmental
Science and Technology, No. 19. London: Royal Society of Chemistry,
pp. 69“88.
38 From Report of the Renewable Energy Advisory Group, Energy Paper Num-
ber 60. London: UK Department of Trade and Industry, November 1992.
39 See Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 17th Report, Inciner-
ation of Waste. 1993. London: HMSO, pp. 43“7.
40 Hall, D. O. et al. 1993. Biomass for energy: supply prospects. In Johansson,
Renewable Energy, pp. 593“651.
41 From Report of the Renewable Energy Advisory Group, Energy Paper Num-
ber 60. London: UK Department of Trade and Industry, November 1992,
p. A29.
42 See In¬eld, D., Rowley, P. 2003. Renewable energy: technology
considerations and electricity integration. Issues in Environmental
320 Energy and transport for the future

Science and Technology, No. 19. London: Royal Society of Chemistry,
pp. 49“68.
43 From Danish Wind Energy Association, www.windpower.org.
44 www.cabinet-of¬ce.gov.uk/innovation/2002/energy/report/index.htm.
45 Lal, M. 1996. Measures for reducing climate relevant gas emissions in India.
Paper presented at an Indo-German seminar IIT, Dehli, 29“31 October,
46 Twidell and Weir, Renewable Energy Resources, p. 252.
47 Martinot, E. et al. 2002. Renewable energy markets in developing countries.
Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 27, pp. 309“48.
48 Martinot, E. et al. Renewable energy markets in developing countries. An-
nual Review of Energy and the Environment, 27, pp. 309“48.
49 Twidell, J., Johnstone, C. 1992. Glasgow gains from Strathclyde™s solar
residences. Sun at Work in Europe, 7, No. 4 December, pp. 15“17.
50 Ishitani, H. et al. 1996. Energy supply mitigation options. In Watson, Climate
Change 1995: Impacts, Chapter 19.
51 Kelly, H. 1993. Introduction to photovoltaic technology. In Johansson, T. B.
et al. 1993. Renewable Energy. Washington DC: Island Press, pp. 297“336.
52 Carlson, D. E. Wagner, S. 1993. Amorphous silicon photovoltaic systems.
In Johansson, Renewable Energy, pp. 403“36.
53 Zweibel, K., Barnett, A. M. 1993. Polycrystalline thin-¬lm photovoltaics.
In Johansson, Renewable Energy, pp. 437“82.
54 Martinot, E. et al. 2002. Renewable energy markets in developing countries.
Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 27, pp. 309“48.
55 Further information on all these systems and possibilities for ¬nancing and
marketing, etc. can be found with a wealth of references in Martinot ibid.
56 This ¬gure assumes that about one third of total solar energy in 2020 will
be PV electricity.
57 See www.tidalelectric.com.
58 See Boyle, G. 1996. Renewable Energy Power for a Sustainable Future.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
59 Schimel, D. et al. 1997. Stabilisation of atmospheric greenhouse gases: phys-
ical, biological and socio-economic implications. IPCC Technical Paper 3.
Geneva: IPCC.
60 See Elliott, D. 2003. Sustainable energy: choices, problems and opportu-
nities. Issues in Environmental Science and Technology, No. 19. London:
Royal Society of Chemistry, pp. 19“47.
61 Fisher, B. S. et al. 1996. An economic assessment of policy instruments
for combating climate change. In Bruce, J., Hoesung Lee, Haites, E. (eds.)
1996. Climate Change 1995: Economic and Social Dimensions of Climate
Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Chapter 11.
62 Johansson, Renewable Energy, p. 38; also Ishitani, H. et al. 1996, Energy
supply mitigation options. In Watson, Climate Change 1995: Impacts, Chap-
ter 19.
63 Energy the Changing Climate. 2000. 22nd Report of the UK Royal Com-
mission on Environmental Pollution. London: UK Stationery Of¬ce, p. 81.
Notes 321

64 From speech by Lord Browne, BP Chief Executive to the Institutional In-
vestors Group, London, 26 November 2003.
65 Based on Summary for Policymakers. In Watson, Climate Change 1995:
Impacts, Section 4.4.
66 See Mullins, F. 2003. Emissions trading schemes: are they a licence to
pollute? Issues in Environmental Science and Technology, No. 19. London:
Royal Society of Chemistry, pp. 89“103.
67 www.cabinet-of¬ce.gov.uk/innovation/2002/energy/report/index.htm.
68 By reacting natural gas (methane CH4 ) with steam through the reaction
2H2 O + CH4 = CO2 + 4H2 .
69 For more details of this technology see Ogden and Nitsch, ˜Solar Hydrogen™
in Renewable Energy, eds. T. B. Johansson et al., Island Press, Washington
DC, 1993, pp. 925“1009.
70 McCraken, G., Stott, P. Fusion, the Energy of the Universe. New York:
Elsevier/Academic Press, 2004.
71 www.rcep.org.uk.
72 www.cabinet-of¬ce.gov.uk/innovation/2002/energy/report/index.htm.
73 www.dti.gov.uk/energy/whitepaper/index.shtml.
74 From Energy for Tomorrow™s World: the Realities, the Real Options and
the Agenda for Achievement. WEC Commission Report. New York: World
Energy Council, 1993, p. 88.
Chapter 12
The global village

The preceding chapters have considered the various strands of the global
warming story and the action that should be taken. In this last chapter
I want ¬rst to present some of the challenges of global warming, espe-
cially those which arise because of its global nature. I then want to put
global warming in the context of other major global problems faced by

The challenges of global warming
We have noted in the course of our discussion that global warming is not
the only environmental problem. For instance, coastal regions are liable to
subsidence for other reasons; water supplies in many places are already
being depleted faster than they are being replenished and agricultural
land is being lost through soil erosion. Many other reasons, locally and re-
gionally, could be listed for the occurrence of environmental degradation.
However, the importance of global warming is not diminished by the ex-
istence of these other environmental problems; in fact their existence will
generally exacerbate its effects “ as, for instance, we noted on page 150
when looking at the effect of sea level rise on Bangladesh. It is generally
bene¬cial to tackle all related environmental problems together.
Local degradation of the environment is generally the result of par-
ticular action in the locality. To give an example, subsidence occurs
because of the over-extraction of groundwater. In these cases the com-
munity where the malpractice is occurring suffers the damage that it
causes and the principle that polluters should pay the cost of their pol-
lution is relatively easy to apply.

The challenges of global warming 323

The particular characteristic of global warming, compared with most
environmental problems, is that it is global. However, though everybody
contributes to it to a greater or lesser extent, its adverse impact will not
fall uniformly. Many, especially in the developing world, will experience
signi¬cant damage; some others, mostly in the developed world, may in
fact gain from it. This non-uniformity of impact also applies to local pol-
lution. But, for local pollution, the adverse effects are more apparent and
immediate than is the case with global warming. It is therefore impera-
tive that information about the effects of the burning of fossil fuels on
the global climate becomes more widely available, so leading to greater
awareness that an individual burning fossil fuels anywhere in the world
has impact globally. And a global problem demands a global solution.
That the ˜polluter should pay™ when the pollution is global rather
than local is one of the Principles (Principle 16) enshrined in the Rio
Declaration of June 1992. Chapters 9 and 10 presented some of the
mechanisms that have been devised to apply this principle on a global
There is already some experience in tackling an environmental prob-
lem of global scale: the depletion of stratospheric ozone because of the
injection by humans of chloro¬‚uorocarbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere
possesses similar global characteristics to the global warming problem.
An effective mechanism for tackling and solving the problem of ozone
depletion has been established through the Montreal Protocol. All nations
contributing to the damage have agreed to phase out their emissions of
harmful substances. The richer nations involved have also agreed to pro-
vide ¬nance and technology transfer to assist developing countries to
comply. A way forward for addressing global environmental problems
has therefore been charted.
Moving in that direction in the case of global warming will not be
easy because the problem is so much larger and because it strikes so
much nearer to the core of human resources and activities “ such as
energy and transport “ upon which our quality of life depends. However,
abatement of the use of fossil fuels need not destroy or even diminish our
quality of life; it should actually improve it! In tackling the problem of
global warming there are particular responsibilities and challenges for
different communities of expertise which generally transcend national

r For the world™s scientists the brief is clear: to provide better infor-
mation especially about the expected climate change on the regional
and local level, always keeping an appropriate emphasis on the un-
certainties of prediction. Not only politicians and policymakers but
also ordinary people need the information provided in the clearest
324 The global village

possible form, in all countries and at all levels of society. Information
is especially required about changes that may occur in the extremes
of weather and climate. Scientists also have an important role in con-
tributing to the research necessary to underpin the technical develop-
ments, for example in the energy, transport, forestry and agriculture
sectors, required by the adaptation and mitigation strategies we have
r In the world of politics, it is over twenty years since Sir Crispin Tickell
drew attention to the need for international action addressing climate
change.1 Since then, a great deal of progress has been made with
the signing in Rio in 1992 of the Framework Convention on Climate
Change and with the setting up of the Sustainable Development Com-
mission in the United Nations. The challenges presented to the politi-
cians and decision makers by the Convention are, ¬rstly, to achieve the
right balance of development against environmental concern, that is to
achieve sustainable development, and secondly, to ¬nd the resolve to
turn the many ¬ne words of the Convention into adequate and genuine
action (including both adaptation and its mitigation) regarding climate
r In describing the likely impacts of global warming and the ways they
can be alleviated, I have frequently stressed the role of technology.
The necessary technology is available. The challenge of its imple-
mentation, supported by appropriate investment, needs to be picked
up enthusiastically and innovatively by the world™s industry. Too often
environmental concerns and environmental regulation are seen by in-
dustry as a threat when, in fact, they are an opportunity. As we saw
in Chapter 11, the emerging technologies associated with energy ef¬-
ciency in all its aspects, renewable energy production and the ef¬cient
use and recycling of materials should bring increased employment in
industry at a high level of skill and technical training. Because of in-
creasing public awareness of the environment and of the need for its
preservation, the industries that are likely to grow and ¬‚ourish dur-
ing the twenty-¬rst century are those that have taken environmental
considerations ¬rmly on board.
r The responsibilities of industry must also be seen in the world con-
text. It is the imagination, innovation, commitment and activity of
industry that will do most to solve the problem. Industries that have
a global perspective, working as appropriate with governments, need
to develop a technical, ¬nancial and policy strategy to this end. An
important component of this strategy is the transfer of appropriate
technology between countries, especially in the energy sector. This
has been speci¬cally recognised in the Climate Convention which in
Article 4, paragraph 5 states: ˜The developed country Parties . . . shall
The challenges of global warming 325

take all practical steps to promote, facilitate and ¬nance, as appropriate,
the transfer of, or access to, environmentally sound technologies and
know-how to other Parties, particularly developing country Parties, to
enable them to implement the provisions of the Convention.™
r There are also new challenges for economists; for instance, that of ad-
equately representing environmental costs (especially including those
˜costs™ that cannot be valued in terms of money) and the value of
˜natural™ capital, especially when it is of a global kind “ as mentioned
in Chapter 9. There is the further problem of dealing fairly with all
countries. No country wants to be put at a disadvantage economically
because it has taken its responsibilities with respect to global warm-
ing more seriously than others. As economic and other instruments
(for instance, taxes, subsidies, capping and trading arrangements, reg-
ulations or other measures) are devised to provide the incentives for
appropriate action regarding global warming by governments or by
individuals, these must be seen to be both fair and effective for all na-
tions. Economists working with politicians and decision makers need
to ¬nd imaginative solutions which recognise not just environmental
concerns but political realities.
r There is an important role for communicators and educators. Every-
body in the world is involved in climate change so everybody needs
to be properly informed about it. They require to understand the evi-
dence for it, its causes, the distribution of its impacts and the action
that can be taken to alleviate them. Climate change is a complex topic;
the challenge to educators and the media is to inform in ways that are
understandable, comprehensive, honest and balanced.
r All countries will need to adapt to the climate change that applies
in their region. For many developing countries this will not be easy
because of increased ¬‚oods, droughts or signi¬cant rise in sea level.
Reductions in risks from disasters are some of the most important
adaptation strategies. A challenge for aid agencies therefore is to pre-
pare for more frequent and intense disasters in vulnerable countries;
the International Red Cross has already taken the lead in this.2

Finally, it is important to recognise that the problem is not only global
but long-term “ the time scales of climate change, of major infrastruc-
ture change in energy generation or transport or of major changes in
programmes such as forestry are of the order of several decades. The
programme of action must therefore be seen as both urgent and evolving,
based on the continuing scienti¬c, technical and economic assessments.
As the IPCC 1995 Report states, ˜The challenge is not to ¬nd the best
policy today for the next 100 years, but to select a prudent strategy and
to adjust it over time in the light of new information™.3
326 The global village

Not the only global problem
Global warming is not the only global problem. There are other issues of
a global scale and we need to see global warming in their context. Four
problems of particular importance impact on the global warming issue.
The ¬rst is population growth. When I was born there were about
2000 million people in the world. At the beginning of the twenty-¬rst
century there were 6000 million. During the lifetime of my grandchildren
it is likely to rise to at least 8000 million. Most of the growth will be in
developing countries; by 2020 they will contain over eighty per cent of
the world™s people. These new people will all make demands for food,
energy and work to generate the means of livelihood “ all with associated
implications for global warming.
The second issue is that of poverty and the increasing disparity in
wealth between the developed and the developing world. The gap be-
tween the rich nations and the poor nations is becoming wider. The ¬‚ow
of wealth in the world is from the poorer nations to the richer ones. In-
creasingly there are demands that more justice and equity be realised
within the world™s communities. The Prince of Wales has drawn atten-
tion to the strong links that exist between population growth, poverty
and environmental degradation (see box below).

Poverty and population growth
The Prince of Wales, in addressing the World Commission on Environ-
ment and Development on 22 April 1992, spoke as follows7 :
I do not want to add to the controversy over cause and effect with
respect to the Third World™s problems. Suf¬ce it to say that I don™t, in all
logic, see how any society can improve its lot when population growth
regularly exceeds economic growth. The factors which will reduce pop-
ulation growth are, by now, easily identi¬ed: a standard of health care
that makes family planning viable, increased female literacy, reduced
infant mortality and access to clean water. Achieving them, of course,
is more dif¬cult “ but perhaps two simple truths need to be writ large
over the portals of every international gathering about the environment:
we will not slow the birth rate until we address poverty. And we will
not protect the environment until we address the issue of poverty and
population growth in the same breath.

The third global issue is that of the consumption of resources, which
in many cases is contributing to the problem of global warming. Many of
the resources now being used cannot be replaced, yet we are using them
at an unsustainable rate. In other words, because of the rate at which we
The conception and conduct of environmental research 327

are depleting them, we are seriously affecting their use even at a modest
level by future generations. Further, over eighty per cent of resources are
consumed by twenty per cent of the world™s population and to propagate
modern western patterns of consumption into the developing world is
just not realistic. An important component of sustainable development,
therefore, is sustainable consumption4 of all resources.
The fourth issue is that of global security. Our traditional under-
standing of security is based on the concept of the sovereign state with
secure borders against the outside world. But communications, industry
and commerce increasingly ignore state borders, and problems like that
of global warming and the other global issues we have mentioned tran-
scend national boundaries. Security therefore also needs to take on more
of a global dimension.
The impacts of climate change may well pose a threat to security. One
of the most recent wars has been fought over oil. It has been suggested that
wars of the future could be fought over water.5 The threat of con¬‚ict must
be greater if nations lose scarce water supplies or the means of livelihood
as a result of climate change. A dangerous level of tension could easily
arise, with large numbers of environmental refugees. As has been pointed
out by Admiral Sir Julian Oswald,6 who has been deeply concerned with
British defence policy, a broader strategy regarding security needs to be
developed which considers inter alia environmental threats as a possible
source of con¬‚ict. In addressing the appropriate action to combat such
threats, it may be better overall and more cost-effective in security terms
to allocate resources to the removal or the alleviation of the environmental
threat rather than to military or other measures to deal head-on with the
security problem itself.

The conception and conduct of environmental
While completing the writing of this last chapter I attended the opening
of the Zuckerman Centre for Connective Environmental Research at the
University of East Anglia “ a centre devoted to interdisciplinary research
on the environment. An opening lecture was given by William Clark, Pro-
fessor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development
at Harvard University.8 I was particularly struck by his remarks concern-
ing the changes that are necessary in the way research is conceived and
conducted if science (both natural and social) and technology are going
to provide more adequate support to environmental sustainability. He
pointed out the need to address all aspects of a problem both in the con-
ception of the research and in its conduct and particularly emphasised
the following four requirements:
328 The global village

r An integrative, holistic approach that considers the interactions be-
tween multiple stresses and between various possible solutions. Such
an approach also seeks to integrate perspectives from both the natural
and the social sciences, so as to understand better the dynamical inter-
play by which environment shapes society and society in turn reshapes
environment. And these various integrations must also be in a global
r A goal of ¬nding solutions not just of characterising problems. There
is a tendency amongst scientists to talk forever about problems but
leave solutions to others. Applied research seeking solutions is just as
challenging and worthy as so-called fundamental research identifying
and describing the problems.
r Ownership by both scientists and stakeholders.9 People are more pre-
pared to change their behaviour or beliefs in response to knowledge
that they have had a hand in researching or shaping.
r Scientists must see themselves more as facilitators of social learning
and less as sources of social guidance. The problems faced in envi-
ronmental research are such that solutions will only be reached after
a long and iterative learning process in which many sectors of society
as well as scientists must be included.

Two other qualities that need to govern our attitude to research that
have often received emphasis in this book are those of honesty (especially
accuracy and balance in the presentation of results) and humility (see, for
instance, the fourth bullet in the last paragraph and the quotation from
Thomas Huxley in Chapter 8, page 211). Together with the theme of
Holism from the last paragraph, they make up 3 Hs, an alliteration that
assists in keeping them all in mind.

The goal of environmental stewardship
In the western world there are many material goals: economic growth,
social welfare, better transport, more leisure and so on. But for our ful¬l-
ment as human beings we desperately need not just material challenges,
but challenges of a moral or spiritual kind. There are strong connections,
which I drew out in Chapter 8, between our basic attitudes, including
religious belief, and environmental concern. I drew a picture of humans
as stewards or gardeners of the Earth. Many people in the world are
already deeply involved in a host of ways in matters of environmental
concern. Such concern could, however, with bene¬t to us all, be elevated
to a higher public and political level. The United Nations, so far as it
is able, has laid out a course of action. In an article in Time Magazine
at the time of the Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg
The goal of environmental stewardship 329

last August, Ko¬ Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations
presented ˜Competing Futures™ in the following terms10 :

Imagine a future of relentless storms and ¬‚oods; islands and heavily
inhabited coastal regions inundated by rising sea levels; fertile soils
rendered barren by drought and the desert™s advance; mass migrations of
environmental refugees; and armed con¬‚icts over water and precious
natural resources.
Then, think again “ for one might just as easily conjure a more
hopeful picture: of green technologies; liveable cities; energy-ef¬cient
homes, transport and industry; and rising standards of living for all the
people not just a fortunate minority. The choice between these competing
visions is ours to make.

What the individual can do
I have spelled out the responsibilities of experts of all kinds “ scientists,
economists, technologists, politicians, industrialists, communicators and
educators. There are important contributions also to be made by ordinary
individuals to help to mitigate the problem of global warming.12 Some
of these are to:
r ensure maximum energy ef¬ciency in the home “ through good
insulation (see box on page 280) against cold in winter and heat
in summer and by making sure that rooms are not overheated and
that light is not wasted;
r as consumers, take energy use into account, e.g. by buying goods
that last longer and from more local sources and buying appliances
with high energy ef¬ciency;
r support, where possible, the provision of energy from non-fossil-
fuel sources; for instance, purchase ˜green™ electricity (i.e. elec-
tricity from renewable sources) wherever this option is available13 ;
r drive a fuel-ef¬cient car and choose means of transport that tend to
minimise overall energy use; for instance, where possible, walking
or cycling;
r check, when buying wood products, that they originate from a
renewable source;
r contribute to projects that reduce carbon dioxide emissions “ this
can be a way of compensating for some of the emissions to which
we contribute, e.g. from aircraft journeys14 ;
r through the democratic process, encourage local and national gov-
ernments to deliver policies which properly take the environment
into account.
330 The global village

An encouraging development is the growing interest of some of the
world™s largest companies in tackling the problems posed by global
warming. Many are aggressively pursuing (e.g. through internal trading
arrangements) the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions within their
operations. Also many (e.g. two of the largest oil companies, Shell and
British Petroleum) are putting strong investment into renewable energies.
John Browne, the chief executive of BP, has said:11
No single company or country can solve the problem of climate change. It
would be foolish and arrogant to pretend otherwise. But I hope we can
make a difference “ not least to the tone of the debate “ by showing what is
possible through constructive action.

The challenge is indeed for everybody, from individuals, communities,
industries and governments through to multinationals, especially for
those in the relatively af¬‚uent Western world, to take on board thor-
oughly this urgent task of the environmental stewardship of our Earth.
And none of us should argue that there is nothing we can usefully do.
Edmund Burke, a British parliamentarian of 200 years ago, said:
Noone made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could
do so little.

1 List and describe the most important environmental problems in your coun-
try. Evaluate how each might be exacerbated under the type of climate change
expected with global warming.
2 It is commonly stated that my pollution or my country™s pollution is so small
compared with the whole, that any contribution I or my country can make
towards solving the problem is negligible. What arguments can you make to
counter this attitude?
3 Speak to people you know who are involved with industry and ¬nd out their
attitudes to local and global environmental concerns. What are the important
arguments that persuade industry to take the environment seriously?
4 Al Gore, Vice-President of the United States in 1996“2000, has proposed a
plan for saving the world™s environment.15 He has called it ˜A Global Mar-
shall Plan™ paralleled after the Marshall Plan through which the United States
assisted western Europe to recover and rebuild after the Second World War.
Resources for the plan would need to come from the world™s major wealthy
countries. He has proposed ¬ve strategic goals for the plan: (1) the stabili-
sation of world population; (2) the rapid creation and development of envi-
ronmentally appropriate technologies; (3) a comprehensive and ubiquitous
change in the economic ˜rules of the road™ by which we measure the impact
of our decisions on the environment; (4) the negotiation of a new generation
of international agreements, that must be sensitive to the vast differences
Notes 331

of capability and need between developed and developing nations; (5) the
establishment of a cooperative plan for educating the world™s citizens about
our global environment. Consider these ¬ve goals. Are they suf¬ciently com-
prehensive? Are there important goals that he has omitted?
5 How do you think governments can best move forward towards strategic
goals for the environment? How can citizens be persuaded to contribute to
government action if it involves making sacri¬ces, for example paying more
in tax?
6 Can you add to the list in the box at the end of the chapter of contributions
that the individual can make?
7 The Jubilee 2000 campaign has worked towards the cancellation of Third
World debt possibly in return for appropriate environmental action. Discuss
whether this is a good idea and how it might be made more successful.
8 Millions of people (especially children) die in the world™s poorer countries
because they lack clean water. It is sometimes argued that the resources that
might be used in reducing carbon dioxide emissions would be better used in
making sure that everyone has access to clean water. Do you agree with this
argument? If so how could the result be realised in practice?
9 It has been suggested that anthropogenic climate change should be consid-
ered as a Weapon of Mass Destruction. Discuss the validity of this compar-
10 Consider the requirements for the conception and conduct of research that are
detailed on page 327“8. Do you consider that they could be components of a
check-list against which research proposals might be judged? How far does
the research are in which you are engaged or do the research programmes
with which you are connected ful¬l these requirements?

Notes for Chapter 12
1 Tickell, C. 1986. Climatic Change and World Affairs, second edition.
Boston: Harvard University Press.
2 The International Red Cross/Red Crescent has set up a Climate Centre
based in The Netherlands as a bridge between Climate Change and Disaster
Preparedness. The activities of the Centre are concerned with Awareness
(information and education), Action (development of climate adaptation in
the context of Disaster Preparedness programmes) and Advocacy (to ensure
that policy development takes into account the growing concern about the
impacts of climate change and utilises existing experience with climate
adaptation and Disaster Preparedness).
3 Synthesis of Scienti¬c-Technical Information Relevant to Interpreting Article
2 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 1995. Geneva:
IPCC, p. 17.
4 Many of the world™s national academies of science led by the Royal Society in
London have joined together in a report pointing this out. See Appendix B in
Towards Sustainable Consumption: a European Perspective. 2000. London:
Royal Society.
332 The global village

5 The former United Nations Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, has
said that ˜the next war in the Middle East will be fought over water, not
6 Oswald, J. Defence and environmental security. 1993. In Prins, G. (ed.) 1993.
Threats Without Enemies. London: Earthscan.
7 HRH the Prince of Wales, in the First Brundtland Speech, 22 April 1992,
published in Prins, Threats Without Enemies, pp. 3“14.
8 Clark, W. C. 2003. Sustainability Science: Challenges for the New Millen-
nium. An address at the of¬cial opening of the Zuckerman Institute for Con-
nective Environmental Research, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK,
4 September 2003. http://sustainabilityscience.org/ists/docs/clark zicer
9 This is illustrated by the experience of the IPCC, as described on page 221.
10 From Ko¬ Annan, Time Magazine, 26 August 2002.
11 From a speech given by Lord John Browne in Berlin, 30 September 1997.
12 Some useful websites: Sierra Club USA, www.sierraclub.org/sustainable.
consumption/; Union of Concerned Scientists, www.ucsusa.org; Energy
Saving Trust, www.est.org.uk; Ecocongregation, www.encams.org;
Christian Ecology Link, www.christian-ecology.org.uk; John Ray Initiative,
13 With changes in the organisation of electricity supply companies in some
countries, it is becoming possible to purchase electricity, delivered by the
national grid, from a particular generating source, see for instance for the
UK. www.greenelectricity.org or www.good-energy.co.uk.
14 See for instance Climate Care website, www.climatecare.org.uk.
15 Expounded in the last chapter of Gore, A. 1992. Earth in the Balance. New
York: Houghton Mif¬‚in Company.

Afforestation Planting of new forests on lands that historically have not contained
Agenda 21 A document accepted by the participating nations at UNCED on a
wide range of environmental and development issues for the twenty-¬rst
Albedo The fraction of light re¬‚ected by a surface, often expressed as a
percentage. Snow-covered surfaces have a high albedo level;
vegetation-covered surfaces have a low albedo, because of the light absorbed
for photosynthesis
Anthropic principle A principle which relates the existence of the Universe to
the existence of humans who can observe it
Anthropogenic effects Effects which result from human activities such as the
burning of fossil fuels or deforestation
AOGCM Atmosphere“Ocean Coupled General Circulation Model
Atmosphere The envelope of gases surrounding the Earth or other planets
Atmospheric pressure The pressure of atmospheric gases on the surface of the
planet. High atmospheric pressure generally leads to stable weather
conditions, whereas low atmospheric pressure leads to storms such as
Atom The smallest unit of an element that can take part in a chemical reaction.
Composed of a nucleus which contains protons and neutrons and is surrounded
by electrons
Atomic mass The sum of the numbers of protons and neutrons in the nucleus of
an atom
Biodiversity A measure of the number of different biological species found in a
particular area
Biological pump The process whereby carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is
dissolved in sea water where it is used for photosynthesis by phytoplankton
which are eaten by zooplankton. The remains of these microscopic organisms
sink to the ocean bed, thus removing the carbon from the carbon cycle for
hundreds, thousands or millions of years
Biomass The total weight of living material in a given area
Biome A distinctive ecological system, characterised primarily by the nature of its
Biosphere The region on land, in the oceans and in the atmosphere inhabited by
living organisms

334 Glossary

Business-as-usual The scenario for future world patterns of energy consumption
and greenhouse gas emissions which assumes that there will be no major
changes in attitudes and priorities
C3, C4 plants Groups of plants which take up carbon dioxide in different ways in
photosynthesis and are hence affected to a different extent by increased
atmospheric carbon dioxide. Wheat, rice and soya bean are C3 plants; maize,
sugarcane and millet are C4 plants
Carbon cycle The exchange of carbon in various chemical forms between the
atmosphere, the land and the oceans
Carbon dioxide fertilisation effect The process whereby plants grow more
rapidly under an atmosphere of increased carbon dioxide concentration. It
affects C3 plants more than C4 plants
Carbon dioxide One of the major greenhouse gases. Human-generated carbon
dioxide is caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation
Celsius Temperature scale, sometimes known as the Centigrade scale. Its ¬xed
points are the freezing point of water (0 —¦ C) and the boiling point of water
(100 —¦ C)
CFCs Chloro¬‚uorocarbons; synthetic compounds used extensively for
refrigeration and aerosol sprays until it was realised that they destroy ozone
(they are also very powerful greenhouse gases) and have a very long lifetime
once in the atmosphere. The Montreal Protocol agreement of 1987 is resulting
in the scaling down of CFC production and use in industrialised
Chaos A mathematical theory describing systems that are very sensitive to the
way they are originally set up; small discrepancies in the initial conditions will
lead to completely different outcomes when the system has been in operation
for a while. For example, the motion of a pendulum when its point of
suspension undergoes forced oscillation will form a particular pattern as it
swings. Started from a slightly different position, it can form a completely
different pattern, which could not have been predicted by studying the ¬rst one.
The weather is a partly chaotic system, which means that even with perfectly
accurate forecasting techniques, there will always be a limit to the length of
time ahead that a useful forecast can be made
CIS Commonwealth of Independent States (former USSR)
Climate sensitivity The global average temperature rise under doubled carbon
dioxide concentration in the atmosphere
Climate The average weather in a particular region
Compound A substance formed from two or more elements chemically combined
in ¬xed proportions
Condensation The process of changing state from gas to liquid
Convection The transfer of heat within a ¬‚uid generated by a temperature
Coppicing Cropping of wood by judicious pruning so that the trees are not cut
down entirely and can regrow
Cryosphere The component of the climate system consisting of all snow, ice and
permafrost on and beneath the surface of the earth and ocean
Glossary 335

Daisyworld A model of biological feedback mechanisms developed by James
Lovelock (see also Gaia hypothesis)
DC Developing country “ also Third World country
Deforestation Cutting down forests; one of the causes of the enhanced
greenhouse effect, not only when the wood is burned or decomposes, releasing
carbon dioxide, but also because the trees previously took carbon dioxide from
the atmosphere in the process of photosynthesis
Deuterium Heavy isotope of hydrogen
Drylands Areas of the world where precipitation is low and where rainfall often
consists of small, erratic, short, high-intensity storms
Ecosystem A distinct system of interdependent plants and animals, together with
their physical environment
El Nino A pattern of ocean surface temperature in the Paci¬c off the coast of
South America, which has a large in¬‚uence on world climate
Electron Negatively charged component of the atom
Element Any substance that cannot be separated by chemical means into two or
more simpler substances
Environmental refugees People forced to leave their homes because of
environmental factors such as drought, ¬‚oods, sea level rise
EU European Union
Evaporation The process of changing state from liquid to gas
FAO The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
Feedbacks Factors which tend to increase the rate of a process (positive
feedbacks) or decrease it (negative feedbacks), and are themselves affected in
such a way as to continue the feedback process. One example of a positive
feedback is snow falling on the Earth™s surface, which gives a high albedo
level. The high level of re¬‚ected rather than absorbed solar radiation will make
the Earth™s surface colder than it would otherwise have been. This will
encourage more snow to fall, and so the process continues
Fossil fuels Fuels such as coal, oil and gas made by decomposition of ancient
animal and plant remains which give off carbon dioxide when burned
FSU Countries of the former Soviet Union
Gaia hypothesis The idea, developed by James Lovelock, that the biosphere is an
entity capable of keeping the planet healthy by controlling the physical and
chemical environment
Geoengineering Arti¬cial modi¬cation of the environment to counteract global
Geothermal energy Energy obtained by the transfer of heat to the surface of the
Earth from layers deep down in the Earth™s crust
Global warming The idea that increased greenhouse gases cause the Earth™s
temperature to rise globally (see greenhouse effect)
Green Revolution Development of new strains of many crops in the 1960s which
increased food production dramatically
Greenhouse effect The cause of global warming. Incoming solar radiation is
transmitted by the atmosphere to the Earth™s surface, which it warms. The
energy is retransmitted as thermal radiation, but some of it is absorbed by
336 Glossary

molecules of greenhouse gases instead of being retransmitted out to space, thus
warming the atmosphere. The name comes from the ability of greenhouse glass
to transmit incoming solar radiation but retain some of the outgoing thermal
radiation to warm the interior of the greenhouse. The ˜natural™ greenhouse
effect is due to the greenhouse gases present for natural reasons, and is also
observed for the neighbouring planets in the solar system. The ˜enhanced™
greenhouse effect is the added effect caused by the greenhouse gases present in


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