A plan to keep carbon in check

Robert H. Socolow, Stephen Wilson Pacala

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

101 Scopus citations

Abstract

Climate scientists in the US are seeing the risks due to the carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions and are taking appropriate measures to curb the emissions. To make the problem manageable, the required reduction in emissions can be broken down into wedges, an incremental reduction of a size that matches available technology. Achieving nearly every one of the wedges requires new science and engineering to cut down costs and address the problems that accompany widespread deployment of new technologies. Cutting the electricity use to half in buildings could lead to two wedges and another wedge could be achieved if the industry finds additional ways to use electricity more efficiently. The extra carbon emissions produced during the delivery of electricity and modern cooking fuel can be compensated for by one fifth of a wedge of emission reductions elsewhere. Strong international enforcement mechanisms will have to come into being and economic growth will have to be maintained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-57
Number of pages8
JournalScientific American
Volume295
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006

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