x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

'Revolution' needed to stop climate change

The country needs to change the way it generates energy to combat climate change, the World Security Forum was told yesterday.

ABU DHABI // The country needs to change the way it generates energy to combat climate change, the World Security Forum was told yesterday. Prof Peter Cox, a climate-change expert from the University of Exeter in the UK, gave a stark warning of what could happen if mankind did not wean itself from fossil fuels. He said at the World Security Forum that recent studies predicted the earth could warm by 6.5 degrees, causing sea levels to rise.

A three-degree increase in temperature could leave 3.5 billion people at risk of water shortages and one billion short of food. Prof Cox said a "revolution" in how the UAE uses and generates energy was necessary to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. He said the country produces 40 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person, per year - twice the production in the US. The worldwide average is five tonnes. "It is essential in order to tackle climate change, that economic development is uncoupled from carbon dioxide emissions," he said.

"We need a revolution in the way the UAE and the world use and generate energy and the way we live our lives. "It is a huge challenge but 2050 is 40 years away. Look what the UAE has achieved in the last 40 years." chamilton@thenational.ae