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Low carbon economy inevitable, says leading Brazilian climate scientist

201504-30

By Michelle Kovacevic

SAO PAULO, Brazil (30 April, 2015)_ A low carbon economy is not only feasible, but inevitable, says one of Brazil's best known climate scientists ahead of 2015’s largest gathering of climate researchers.

“It is technologically and economically feasible to profoundly reshape the global energy systems towards renewable energy sources and adoption of energy efficiency at scale,” said Carlos Nobre, Director of the National Centre of Monitoring and Alerts of Natural Disasters at Brazil’s Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation
 
Growing energy needs of developing nations can be met mostly by renewables, says Nobre, rapidly phasing out fossil energy in the following decades. 

“For instance, India plans to install over 100 GW of solar photovoltaics up to 2022 and China much more. The rapidly declining cost of many forms of renewables are making this possible, a reality which is unfolding before our eyes.”
 
Research is also moving fast in in battery recharge and grid storage technology, which will be crucial for large ramp up of solar and wind renewable energy technologies given their intermittency.

Electric vehicles will also become competitive with conventional vehicles in less than a decade, Nobre predicts.

“Innovative investments, public private partnerships and incentives have to be created and made available to developing nations for massive implementation of renewables and at no or low cost to the least developed countries.”

However large subsidies provided for fossil fuel exploration and production is still one of the greatest challenges, Nobre says.

“We need to substantially increase subsidies to renewables and to adoption of energy efficiency.”

Nobre will be chairing a panel at the Our Common Future Under Climate Change conference, which aims to profile the latest climate science innovations ahead of December’s landmark UN climate conference in Paris. He hopes that people leave the conference with the understanding that water, food and energy security can be achieved for all.

“Achieving this goal for humankind is not only necessary, but within reach by mid-century.”

This is part of a blog series profiling climate scientists, economists, social scientists and civil society members who are presenting and discussing innovative climate science at Our Common Future. For more follow @ClimatParis2015 and #CFCC15 on Twitter.

Carlos Nobre can be reached for comment at maria.orquiza@cemaden.gov.br

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