Climate Solutions 2: Low-Carbon Re-Industrialisation A report to WWF International based on the Climate Risk Industry Sector Technology Allocation (CRISTAL) Model, 2009

The time for action is now. Climate Solutions 2 shows that if we do not start moving towards a lowcarbon
world in the next five years then runaway climate change may be inevitable. This report cuts
straight through the equivocating that surrounds the debate on climate change. It offers a powerful
warning about the results of inaction, while pointing the way to extraordinary industrial growth and
cost reductions if we respond quickly to the climate crisis.

According to Climate Solutions 2, if we do not have critical low-carbon industries under accelerated
development by 2014, then we could miss the greenhouse gas targets needed to avoid runaway climate
change. Even if we were to immediately respond to this warning and start growing our low-carbon
energy, industrial and agricultural industries today, they would still have to grow by 24% every year. If
we dare to wait until 2014, the rate of change necessary increases to about 30% every year, pushing the
limits of viable long-term industrial growth.

Historically, sustained long-term growth rates of greater than 20% a year are rare – even in times of
crisis such as during wars – because the speed of industrial change remains largely inflexible and has
always been limited by available resources, labour, skills, capital and equipment. Fortunately, Climate
Solutions 2 shows that this rapid change is still possible if we put in place the policies and resources
required. Substantial savings and prosperity are also associated with creating the new low-carbon
economy.

This report refutes the myth that a rapid change to a low-carbon society will cripple international
treasuries. It shows that the economies of scale created by accelerating into a low-carbon world will
deliver vast savings compared to the business-as-usual approach.

However, this transformation requires more than a carbon price, which, by itself, will not drive the
change that is needed. It also requires investment in “all” low-emissions industries now – large and
small – even if we have to wait two or three decades before these industries become independently
competitive. Governments need to create incentives so these industries are low risk and attractive
for private sector investors. Investors are eagerly awaiting regulatory certainty so they can become
involved in this modern industrial revolution.

The warnings both in this report and throughout the world around us are loud, clear and urgent. The
world’s weather patterns are changing, bringing drought and floods on an unprecedented scale. At
the same time, our oceans grow more acidic. It is increasingly clear that climate change is already
affecting us all. But equally – as Climate Solutions 2 shows – should we have the courage and foresight
to commence building our low-carbon economies now, we can avoid runaway climate change and
positively transform our world for ourselves and the generations to follow.
 

To read the full report, please click here.