Emissions could rise 50% by 2050, warns OECD

Global greenhouse gas emissions could rise 50% by 2050 without more ambitious actions by governments, warned the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) last week.

The organisation’s report, OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inaction, warns that rising living standards over coming decades will be accompanies by growing demand for energy, food and natural resources and higher emissions.

“These enormous environmental challenges cannot be addressed in isolation. They must be managed in the context of other global challenges, such as food and energy security, and poverty alleviation,” says OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

The report says well-designed policies are needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the health burden and cost arising from air pollution.

Environmental taxes and emissions trading schemes need to be adopted across the board and subsidies removed from fossil fuels and wasteful water irrigation schemes.

The UK’s plans for a Green Investment Bank are singled out as a positive role model, although with the US phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies.

“Greening agriculture, water and energy supply and manufacturing will be critical by 2050 to meet the needs of over 9 billion people,” says Gurría.

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19 March 2012