Thursday, November 18, 2010

Support renewable energy sources, or...

Global temperature to rise 3.5 degrees C. by 2035: International Energy Agency
Unless governments cut subsidies for fossil fuels and adopt new policies to support renewable energy sources, the Copenhagen Accord to hold global warming to less than a 2-degree increase will not be reached.

The Christian Science Monitor: But there's hope yet, says Faith Birol, the chief economist for the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA)... 'Renewable energies need substantial subsidies from governments,' Dr. Birol said... 'The important task [for governments] is to decide whether they will support energy renewables in the future. It could be bad news for energy security and climate change if they don't.'

None of that may be surprising, considering the 26-nation Copenhagen Accord signed in December 2009 was not legally binding and also fell short of recommendations from the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for how to prevent temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C...

'Renewable energy can play a central role in reducing carbon-dioxide emissions and diversifying energy supplies, but only if strong and sustained support is made available,' IEA executive director Nobuo Tanaka said in a statement upon [Nov. 9] release of the 2010 World Energy Outlook...

But the world has never been quick to adopt new energy policies, as Monitor correspondent Douglas Fox pointed out in his cover story on the future of energy.

'Energy revolutions have usually been slow, starchy, conservative affairs, not overnight explosions; and the next one promises to be, too -- never before has humanity replaced 15 trillion watts of worldwide energy production,' writes Mr. Fox. 'Our success in making it happen quickly enough to stave off climate change will depend every bit as much on strategic use of fossil fuels now as it does on flash new technologies in the future.'
Image source here.