LOW CARBON ELECTRICITY SYSTEMS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION WWF, POWERSWITCH – FROM COAL TO CLEAN, (FACTSHEET)

Climate change is arguably humankind’s greatest threat. It threatens disruption on an unprecedented scale for ecosystems, human health and animal species. While the Kyoto Protocol to limit greenhouse gases was an important step, it was only the first in what needs to be a major shift to a carbon neutral energy future. This will be necessary to meet the European Union objective of keeping global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times. The power sector, which produces 37% of global carbon dioxide emissions, is crucial in making deep carbon dioxide cuts over the next two decades. This study shows that the sector offers a huge potential for emission reduction. Key elements of the WWF ‘Power Switch!’ vision are:

• Improving the end-use efficiency of appliances, buildings and industrial motors
• Increasing the efficiency of power plants such as through combined heat and power (CHP)
• Expanding the role of renewable energy such as wind power, biomass and solar power

WWF invites power companies to become partners in the “Power Switch!” vision and to:
• Improve the energy efficiency of both power plants and of how consumers use electricity by shifting to co-generation of heat and power and investing in consumer’s use of highly efficient residential and office appliances and industrial production equipment
• Increase their share of “new” renewables, such as wind, biomass and solar, to at least 20 percent within the next 10 years
• Support strong policies in their countries to cut CO2 emissions and increase the share of renewable energy
• Stop investing in new coal plants and coal mining

 
To read the full factsheet, please click here.