Presentation on theme: "Prof. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker Co-Chair Moscow Politech Museum 11 May, 2012 Resource Efficiency Can Be the Key to 21st Century Technologies International."— Presentation transcript:
Prof. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker Co-Chair Moscow Politech Museum 11 May, 2012 Resource Efficiency Can Be the Key to 21st Century Technologies International Resource Panel
Sustainable development means small ecological footprints and a high Human Development Index (HDI) HDI Ecological footprints (hectares) The sustainability rectangle High HDI Small ecol. footprints
Alas, only one country currently populates the sustainability rectangle Cuba Source: Global Footprints Network
If 7 b people had US American footprints, we would need 5 planets Earth
Ecological Footprints: How many Earths would we need to accommodate 7 billion people living lifestyles of …
However, a fivefold increase of resource efficiency could repopulate the sustainability rectangle HDI Ecological footprints (hectares) High HDI Small ecol. footprints The sustainability rectangle
And our single planet could accommodate us
Thats basically the philosophy behind Factor Five Dezember 2009 März 2010 Oktober 2010
Its not a dream of crazy engineers. Its a sheer necessity if we want to acommodate 7b people at agreeable life styles, And with a reasonably stable climate …
. We seem to be destabilizing Greenland. (Freshwater coverage during Summers 1992 and 2002)
Water runs down in vertical rivers, lubricating the rocks under the ice … Q: (Timothy Lenton et al), PNAShttp://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/ v1
Sea level rise can take catastrophic speed! (after Michael Tooley. Global sea-levels: floodwaters mark sudden rise. Nature 342 (6245), p )
Asias vibrant growth centres are mostly at the coast!
But why is climate policy stagnating?
Because of the convenient paradigm of the Kuznets- curve of local pollution. rich and dirty Poor and clean rich and clean! Time and prosperity Local pollution
For CO 2 -intensity we dont even have that Kuznets curve so far! BIP pro Kopf CO2-Intensität
We have to break this correlation, i.e. create a Kuznets Curve of decarbonization. rich and carbon free
And then help poorer countries tunneling through it. rich and carbon free
Three methods of decarbonization: Less CO 2 in energy Less energy in wealth Less wealth
Conventional thinking suggests: 80%: Less CO 2 in energy 10%: Less energy in wealth 10%: Less wealth 100%
Less carbon in energy? Such as nuclear? Not after the Fukushima disaster! The Tsunami causes a nuclear desaster ( NTV Japan) The radioactive cloud after 7 days (Blog alexanderhiggins.com)
… how about bio-fuels: - an ecological nightmare! Endless maize fields Endless palmoil plantations
PV as large as airports? (Saxony, Germany) Wind turbines,- do you want such neighbours? Hydrodams? Always big conflicts.Geothermal? As deep as the Alps are high… …how about solar, wind, hydro or geothermal? They are fine in small sizes but can be nasty in large quantities.
source: siemens.com Of course, we need a lot more renewable energies, - where they are ecologically benign! Source: abendblatt.de Offshore wind energy PV on the roof Source: California Energy Commission
Lets calculate: if 1b people (the rich) achieve 20% new renewables, thats 1/35 of what you would need for 7b people on earth. Developing countries NICs Old industrial- ized countries And now imagine a 35fold increase of todays biofuels plantations, wind power, hydopower, solar power. Its an ecological nightmare!
Avoiding that nightmare could mean: 30% Less CO 2 in energy 65%: Less energy in wealth 5%: Less wealth 100%. That is still a 5 – 10-fold increase of renewables, but at the core its a new technological revolution! Thats what we should go for!
In other words: a Green Kondratiev Cycle, after five brown Cycles. Mechanization Steel & railroads Electricity, chemicals,cars TV, aviation, computers, Biotech IT Energy productivity, renew. Energy. Cyclical economy
I come back to the Green Kondratiev in a moment. But what can we do for the short- cut for developing countries?
It was proposed by the Indian PM Manmohan Singh. It means the North would have to go shopping for emission rights in the South. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on , at the Nikkei Symposium in Tokyo, and later in New Delhi supported the idea! The best solution is per capita equal CO 2 emission rights
This carbon justice approach would make it profitable in developing countries to become very energy efficient and to turn to renewable energies. Efficiency technology would rapidly migrate to the South. And hundreds of plans for new coal power plants could be scrapped.
Back now to the technology task of decoupling prosperity from CO 2 emissions. Let us think bold about efficiency!
Imagine a bucket of water of 10 kg weight How many Kilowatt- hours do you need to lift it from sea level to the top of Mount Everest?
The answer is: One quarter of a kilowatthour! (knowing that one watt- second is one Joule or one Newton-meter; ¼ kwh is watt-seconds) 1 kwh