Washington, April 5: US researchers have said that the UN climate change panel has drastically underestimated the need to invest in the innovation of new energy efficient technologies that are required to stabilise greenhouse emissions. According to a report in ABC News, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predictions on global warming issued last year assume that energy efficiency technology will automatically improve over time. But, according to the US researchers, this automatic technology improvement has not occurred in recent years.
"While energy efficiency has continued to improve in the richest countries, including the US and Europe, it has declined in fast-developing countries like China as demand for energy increases there," said Dr Roger Pielke from the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado in Boulder. "There are more than 2 billion people worldwide with no access to electricity and as they demand, rightly, access to energy, their carbon emissions have nowhere to go but up," he added.
According to Pielke, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted during recent years could be a lot larger than is accounted for in the range of scenarios used by the IPCC. "The IPCC plays a risky game in assuming that spontaneous advances in technological innovation will carry most of the burden of achieving future emissions reductions, rather than focusing on creating the conditions for such innovations to occur," he and his colleagues said.
"Nothing less than a technology revolution is required, with investments in research and development comparable to the US military's investments during the Cold War," he added.