Potsdam Conference on Costs and Strategies of Global Climate Protection

15 Mar 2006

More than fifty internationally leading climate scientists, economists and engineers as well as high ranking representatives from business, politics and NGOs meet at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) on March 16th and 17th to discuss how the 2° climate protection target of the European Union can be achieved.

"The 2° aim requires a global zero-emission economy by the end of the 21st century. This is a challenge comparable to any other task mankind is facing", says Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist at PIK. It was only until recently that the mainstream opinion in science was claiming that achieving the 2° target would be a very expensive quest. This consensus has now been shaken. A recent international study conducted under the leadership of Ottmar Edenhofer has shown that the costs of climate protection have been overestimated in the past. The costs of the 2° aim lie below 1% of the worldwide social product. "The costs of the 2° target can be lowered by technical development". "But this will possible only if all technical options are implemented", says Prof. Carlo Carraro from the Italian Research Institute FEEM, co-organiser of the Potsdam Conference and co-editor of the study that will be presented at the press conference. A dramatic increase in energy efficiency, significant introduction of renewables, possibly nuclear power, and - if ongoing tests prove successful - the use of Carbon Capture and Sequestration are considered to be the most important options for reducing greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. The conference discusses these technical options with the aim of assessing their risks and opportunities.

"Developing technologies for reducing greenhouse gases to their full potential by introducing policies on the international level will be decisive for a successful climate policy", says John Schellnhuber, director at PIK. A climate protocol which clearly exceeds the Kyoto agreement will hence be required post-2012 period. A crucial point will be to complement the emission trading mechanism by specific programmes for the promotion of technologies. Schellnhuber underlines: "We need a third industrial revolution. This conference will substantially contribute to developing the climate policy of the future."

Workshop Press Conference
Thursday, March 16th 2006, 13.15h, duration approx. 1 hour (mainly in German language), Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Telegrafenberg 14412 Potsdam, Building A31/ Cupola
With K. Müschen (Department Head, UBA), Prof. H.J. Schellnhuber CBE (Director, PIK), Prof. Dr. C. Carraro (Research Director, FEEM), und O. Edenhofer (Project Leader SPARK, PIK).

Homepage of the Workshop

Contact Person at PIK
Jutta Neuhaus, E-Mail: jutta.neuhaus@pik-potsdam.de, Tel.: 0331 288-24 14