Scientists say that an intense but simple plan to defeat global warming will see emissions get cut in half every decade. Renewable energy production, meanwhile, will double every five years.
According to Moore's Law, computing power doubles every two years or so. For the past 50 years, Moore's Law has proven itself to be accurate. Now, scientists plan to apply the same basic principles of exponential growth to a new “carbon law”. Proponents claim that this new law can encourage governments and businesses to turn their attentions back to cutting carbon emissions.
The plan may be rigorous, but it's also simple and quantitative. “The carbon law for keeping us on track with Paris–something we can all follow–is such a valuable contribution at this critical time,” says Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
While more countries are adopting the use of renewable energy, scientists warn that this change is not quick enough. At this rate, the global community may not meet emissions targets crucial to mitigating climate change.
As of now, scientists say that governments may be finding it difficult to tackle climate change agendas. To be fair, governments to have to deal with a lot of things, and climate change may slide down the list of priorities. Thus, it may be difficult for them to create an ambitious yet achievable plan to defeat global warming. The Moore's law-based carbon law can therefore help make things simpler.
It does indeed seem simple. Halve carbon emissions every decade, and double the production of renewable energy every five years.
According to a new study, this exponential growth in the renewable energy sector is already happening. Over the past decade, renewable energy has doubled every 5.5 years. The carbon law can ensure that this rate of progress continues. If this trend does indeed continue, fossil fuels may become redundant before 2050.
Researchers were also able to map out targets over the next few decades. According to their plan, 2030 will mark the disappearance of coal, while 2040 will mark the disappearance of oil.
Of course, this is easier said than done. While it's good to have concrete goals and milestones to serve as guides, getting there is more complicated. Governments will have to impose carbon taxes, encourage energy efficiency, phase gas-guzzling cars out, and more.
Though the carbon law is simple, the challenge lies in getting countries to agree to follow it. Also, the simplicity of the carbon law may ultimately be its downfall. Critics may say that such a simple law cannot concretely define practices that aim to defeat global warming.
What the carbon law does have going for it is that it is intriguing enough to gain the world's attention. Climate change may have taken a back seat when it comes to policy, but it doesn't have to stay there. Hopefully, this new carbon law will be the impetus that drives nations towards actions aiming to defeat global warming.
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