Policy Documents

Pricewaterhouse Coopers' 'Too Late' Report: Poor Science, No Practical Solutions

November 21, 2012

A new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), titled Too Late for Two Degrees? Low Carbon Economy Index 2012, claims nations must dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions and the carbon intensity of their economies to cap global warming at an acceptable level of 2 degrees Celsius above “pre-industrial levels.” The report claims the 2-degree goal may be unattainable given ongoing increases in global carbon dioxide emissions. Instead, PWC argues, the world needs to plan for likely warming of 4 degrees Celsius or even 6 degrees Celsius in the near future.

The report was welcomed by environmental advocacy groups and other interests that benefit from public anxiety over the prospects of catastrophic climate change. Allies of these interests in the mainstream media were largely uncritical in their coverage of the report. But the report is incomplete to the point of being superficial, inaccurate in what it does cover, and certainly not a reliable guide to either the science or the economics of climate change.

Specifically, the PWC report presents no scientific research to support its claims, predicts more warming than is forecast even by alarmist United Nations models, and ignores current temperature trends. It fails to acknowledge that the United States and other Western democracies can do little to slow the continuing rise in global carbon dioxide emissions given the ongoing dramatic increase in carbon dioxide emissions in rapidly industrializing nations such as China. It dismisses the rise of natural gas and the role it is playing in reducing emissions, and it minimizes the economic costs of continuing the fruitless quest to control the world’s inherently chaotic climate by regulating human emissions.

Read the whole report here.