A new report published by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development paints a grim picture of the world in 2050 based on current global trends. It predicts a world population of 9.2 billion people, generating a global GDP four times the size of today’s, requiring 80 percent more energy. And with a worldwide energy mix still 85 percent reliant on fossil fuels by that time, it will be coal, oil, and gas that make up most of the difference, the OECD predicts.
Should that prove the case, and without new policy, the report warns the result will be the “locking in” of global warming, with a rise of as much as 6° C (about 10.8° F) predicted by the end of the century. Combined with other knock-on effects of population growth on biodiversity, water and health; the report asserts that the ensuing environmental degradation will result in consequences “that could endanger two centuries of rising living standards.
Ars [Technica] looked in detail at the 320-page report in order to summarize its key findings.Read the summary at Peak Oil
Hot, crowded, and running out of fuel: Earth of 2050 a scary place
The message from the OECD is clear: the status quo is no longer acceptable. “Progress on an incremental, piecemeal, business-as-usual basis in the coming decades will not be enough,” it states, quite categorically. And that’s not coming from an environmental think tank, but an international body (albeit one with a Eurocentric outlook) with 34 members with the remit of stimulating economic growth and trade.