Top OECD Official Calls for Zero Carbon Emissions

LONDON - MARCH 16: Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary-General speaks at the Treasury during the launch of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Economic Survey of the UK, on March 16, 2011 in London, England. With the Budget due on March 23, Chancellor Osborne stated that it will will echo the message from the OECD, that 'this Government has set the right course for the British economy, but we have still much more to do'. 
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Clare Foran
Oct. 9, 2013, 3:55 a.m.

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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