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Top OECD Official Calls for Zero Carbon Emissions Top OECD Official Calls for Zero Carbon Emissions

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Top OECD Official Calls for Zero Carbon Emissions


OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria is calling for zero carbon emissions by the second half of the century.(Lewis Whyld - WPA Pool/Getty Images))

Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Angel Gurria, called for policy measures to cut carbon emissions and reduce international reliance on fossil fuels in a speech delivered in London.

According to the text of the lecture, Gurria emphasized the need for global emissions targets and set a goal of ending carbon emissions from fossil fuel use in the second half of the twenty-first century.


"Zero emissions' might sound extreme," he said. "Why not just lower emissions? The answer to that is physical. Carbon dioxide is a long lived gas. It hangs around. Of one ton of CO2 emitted this year, over 60% will still be in the atmosphere twenty years from now and 45% 100 years from now. Some will still be around after thousands of years. Even small on-going emissions will continue to add to the atmospheric concentration. We have an accumulation problem."

Gurria outlined a plan to achieve this aim. The plan includes putting a price tag on carbon emissions to create incentives for renewable energy use and sharply reducing or eliminating fossil fuel subsidies in developing nations.

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