As we've become more dependent on carbon-based fuels, we've seen a rapid increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2; from around 280 parts per million (ppm) before the industrial revolution, to 370 ppm today. If current trends of fossil fuel use continue the concentration of CO2 is likely to exceed 700 ppm by the end of this century. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this could lead to global warming of between 1.4 and 5.8°C, more frequent severe weather conditions and damage to many natural ecosystems.
Based on current scientific opinion, BP believes that it is realistic to promote actions that ensure stabilization of atmospheric CO2 concentrations at around 500-550 ppm. This is a considerable challenge, given that global energy demand is expected to double between 2000 and 2050.
To achieve carbon stabilization, we need to ask ourselves some tough questions: What exactly is our current relationship with carbon? How can we reduce our dependency on carbon emitting technologies and fuels? What steps are others taking around the world?