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Economic growth ‘cannot continue’

January 31, 2010

Article at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8478770.stm

Continuing global economic growth “is not possible” if nations are to tackle climate change, a report by an environmental think-tank has warned.

The New Economics Foundation (Nef) said “unprecedented and probably impossible” carbon reductions would be needed to hold temperature rises below 2C (3.6F).

Scientists say exceeding this limit could lead to dangerous global warming.

“We urgently need to change our economy to live within its environmental budget,” said Nef’s policy director.

Andrew Simms added: “There is no global, environmental central bank to bail us out if we become ecologically bankrupt.”

None of the existing models or policies could “square the circle” of economic growth with climate safety, Nef added.

‘No magic bullets’

<snip>

“Magic bullets – such as carbon capture and storage, nuclear or even geo-engineering – are potentially dangerous distractions from more human-scale solutions,” said co-author Victoria Johnson, Nef’s lead researcher for the climate change and energy programme.

She added that there was growing support for community-scale projects, such as decentralised energy systems, but support from governments was needed.

Article at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8478770.stm

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