La voie vers une énergie durable

NEW YORK – Une chose est sûre à propos de l’avenir de l’énergie : il faudra trouver des sources d’énergie à faible émission de carbone. Près de 80 pour cent de l’énergie primaire mondiale est aujourd’hui à base de carbone : charbon, pétrole et gaz naturel. D’ici le milieu du siècle, nous devrons avoir effectué la transition vers une énergie à faible ou nulle intensité carbonique. Les deux grandes questions sont comment et quand.

Une énergie à faible intensité carbonique implique trois options : les énergies renouvelables, éolienne, solaire, géothermique, hydraulique et à partir de la biomasse ; l’énergie nucléaire ; et le captage et la séquestration de carbone, c’est-à-dire utiliser les combustibles fossiles pour créer de l’énergie, mais capter les émissions de dioxyde de carbone (CO2) qui en résulte et les stocker sous terre.

Trois raisons impérieuses nous obligent à effectuer la transition vers une énergie à faible intensité carbonique. Premièrement, les taux élevés de CO2 provoquent une acidification des océans. Continuer comme si de rien n’était implique une destruction massive de la vie marine, avec des conséquences dévastatrices sur les chaînes alimentaires dont nous dépendons.

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