America’s climate envoy John Kerry has been ridiculed for saying technologies that don’t yet exist will play a huge role in stabilising the climate.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, he said the US was leading the world on climate change – and rapidly phasing out coal-fired power stations.
But he rejected a suggestion that Americans need to change their consumption patterns by, say, eating less meat.
He said: “You don’t have to give up quality of life to achieve some of the things we want to achieve.
“I’m told by scientists that 50% of the reductions we have to make (to get to near zero emissions) by 2050 or 2045 are going to come from technologies we don’t yet have.”
But his faith in unknown technologies has left some leading engineers aghast.
‘Not enough time’
Julian Allwood, professor of engineering and the environment at the University of Cambridge, told BBC News: “It’s virtually impossible for new energy infrastructure technologies to have a significant effect on global emissions in the time we have left to act.”
He warned that with every new energy-infrastructure technology so far, it’s taken 30-100 years from invention to 5% penetration of existing markets.
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