Energy Policy Scenarios to 2050
10.1.9. 2050: Sustainable emissions reduction
As time goes on, zero-carbon technologies, coupled with advanced energy storage, continue the decline in emissions, leading to a truly post-carbon world. The potential for nuclear fusion and a universal electro-hydrogen energy economy may also be established. All of this continued progress, however, is predicated on sustained major global commitment to technological development with prompt transfer and deployment into the world's energy infrastructure.
This timeline may seem lengthy but it only underscores the urgency needed if global CO2 emissions are to be returned to or below current levels by 2050. Some are costly in the short-term, but will produce longer-term benefits. The sooner society acts with a real commitment and effective measures to stabilise and reduce CO2 emissions, the better.
A recently released report, "Framework for a Post-2012 Agreement on Climate Change" , by the UN convened Global Leadership for Climate Action, focuses on urgent actionable recommendations, including complementary pathways, also suggesting as this study does that energy related carbon emissions can be reduced to current levels by 2050. In addition, the WEC study and this GLCA study both believe that market based mechanisms are important to achieving realistic carbon reductions. This WEC study further recommends that an international agency modeled after the World Trade Organization (WTO) is required to monitor and police any global market with the appropriate authority delegated to and honored by each participating nation.