In the past year, various reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have warned the world in no uncertain terms that in order to achieve a stable climate on our planet by the end of this century, any increase in CO2 emissions in the coming decades must be curbed before the emissions can be appreciably reduced. According to the IPCC, the maxi-mum amount of CO2 emissions that can be tolerated globally by the end of the 21st century amounts to roughly 2000 gigatons. This will mean a considerable reduction in the emission of CO2 per capita.
The per capita emission of carbon dioxide in Switzerland is currently 9 tons per year, approximately twice the global average. Our objective for the climate and energy policy for the century has to be to induce each member of the human race to produce not more than 1 ton of carbon dioxide per year, Professor Ralph Eichler, President ETH Zurich, explained to the media today.
Systematic implementation of 3E strategy
This proposed emission target for carbon dioxide may seem ambitious by to-days standards, but it can be achieved by the end of the century both in Swit-zerland and throughout the world. This is reflected in the calculations made by ETH Zurichs own Energy Science Center (ESC). In order to reach the target, an energy strategy will have to be consistently implemented. As stated by Profes-sor Konstantinos Boulouchos, the proposed strategy is based on three pillars: 1) the exhaustion of efficiency potential, 2) the extended use of renewable energy sources and 3) the increased share of electricity in the energy mix.
Exhausting the efficiency potential will mean increasing efficiency in every link of the energy conversion chain, from extraction at the energy source, through stor-age and distribution up to energy usage. This alone would harbour great sav-ings potential, especially when combined with market-based instruments to in-flue
|Contact: Konstantinos Bouchoulos|
ETH Zurich/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology