Copenhagen must signal for a Zero Carbon Economy

Press release – for immediate release

World Future Council calls on UN Climate Conference

Hamburg, December 6th. The World Future Council today called upon the delegates of next week’s UN climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, to surpass the pitifully poor promises to date and unleash the Zero Carbon Economy.

“This conference is not just about the destabilized climate. It’s about a socially and ecologically just economic model for developing and industrialized countries that will foster material prosperity for all without surpassing the natural limits of the planet. The time for the Zero Carbon Economy has come”, says Anders Wijkman, Vice President of the Club of Rome and Chair of the World Future Council’s Climate and Energy Commission.

“Reduce energy waste by 25% and produce 75% renewable energy and you have a 100% solution. Halt deforestation along with that and you have the makings for a Zero Carbon Economy. This vision is good news for people and the planet.”

The pivotal point is that the industrialized countries finally admit their responsibility of being the main cause of climate change including the wrong economic model. They have the duty to reduce their emissions while ensuring a sufficient transfer of financial and technological resources to developing countries to foster a green economy in these countries.

The World Future Council (WFC) stated that a binding agreement of reducing emissions by at least 80% by 2050 and by at least 40% by 2020 must be “the minimum outcome of this conference”. The WFC also stated the need for a unifying vision that puts people to work as both part of the climate solution and the welfare of future generations. “A Zero Carbon Economy is the kind of thinking that must come out of Copenhagen.”

Toward a Zero Carbon Economy the World Future Council suggests combining the existing Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) with the national deployment of proven renewable energy policies such as ‘Feed-in tariffs’ to trigger the deployment of solar and wind power in countries that have electricity grids. The World Future Council also challenges the attempts to include the technology of ‘Carbon Capture and Storage’ (CCS) into the flexible mechanisms of a Kyoto Plus agreement until they are proven to be effective and safe tools for climate mitigation. Instead the World Future Council suggests massively increasing earth soils’ capacity to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere via rainforest protection, reforestation and organic farming.

The UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen will bring together representatives of more than 180 countries, as well as thousands of participants from intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The outcome of the conference will determine the follow-up agreement to the Kyoto protocol, which ends in 2012.

A World Future Council delegation will attend the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen. Among the present Council members are Maude Barlow, Vandana Shiva, Tim Flannery, Anders Wijkman, Ashok Khosla, Nick Dunlop, Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, Tewolde Berhan Egziabher and Rolf Kreibich. Together they aim to demonstrate that renewable energy with its huge job and business creation potential can help turn the climate crisis into an opportunity.

Media Contacts

World Future Council

Anne Reis
Media and Communications Manager

Stefan Schurig
Climate and Energy Director

World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy making. Its 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decisionmakers with effective policy solutions. In-depth research underpins advocacy work for international agreements, regional policy frameworks and national lawmaking and thus produces practical and tangible results.