Renewable revolution launched at COP

“We are on the cusp of something as dramatic as the IT revolution” said Christopher Flavin at a climate summit side event to launch “Renewable Revolution”, a new report by the Worldwatch Institute Report.

“We can literally change the world energy system”, explained Worldwatch Institute chairman Flavin whose report advocates “unleashing the full potential of energy efficiency in concert with renewable energy resources.”

Flavin told the launch meeting that renewable energy could account for 50% of global electricity by 2030, but European Wind Energy Association CEO Christian Kjaer said Europe should aim for 100% of electricity from renewable by 2050.

‘ET meets IT’ is a phrase used by American internet giant Google to describe their belief that energy and information technology combined can deliver massive energy efficiency in our homes. As a company that admits it is a ‘reasonably sized user of’ electricity, and with a commitment to tackling climate change, Google has a strong interest in renewable energy and energy efficiency working much more strongly together.

Less surprisingly the International Energy Agency also underlined that efficiency and renewables go hand in hand.

Climate change deniers could redouble efforts (copy 1)

Climate change deniers will increase their efforts to make people doubt the scientific consensus regarding global temperature increase resulting from greenhouse gas emissions if a new, strengthened post-Kyoto agreement is reached in Copenhagen.

“The better the deal in Copenhagen, the denial industry will get even worse,” Richard Littlemore said today during a video interview at the UN climate change conference. “I promise you there will be a redoubled effort after Copenhagen” to make people doubt science.

Littlemore is the editor of which has earned a reputation for exposing global warming misinformation campaigns.

He said doubts about climate change science were first planted and nurtured by the coal and petroleum industries about 20 years ago.

The co-author of Climate Cover-Up: the Crusade to Deny Global Warming, Littlemore later told the European Wind Energy Association that the fossil fuel industry is actively against a successful emissions-reduction treaty being reached in Copenhagen because it would begin losing massive amounts of money.

“The fossil fuel industry has nowhere to run. If we do the right thing on climate change, they’ve lost. As soon as we do the right thing, all the profits related to the fossil fuel industry are in danger.”

A former newspaper journalist, Littlemore also said wind power and other renewable energy sources should be extremely concerned about the climate denial industry.

Consensus must be reached this week: Al Gore

World leaders about to descend on the COP-15 climate change meeting in Copenhagen have to reach a political consensus later this week that sets the stage for a new legally binding agreement next year on reducing greenhouse gasses, former US vice president Al Gore said on Tuesday.

Gore, chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection and author of An Inconvenient Truth, told several hundred people at the UN organized climate change conference that failure is not an option.

“The alternative to success here in Copenhagen is not acceptable,” said Gore, a co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“Decisions made here will shape the future,” he said, adding “we have three days to avoid a failure here. . . More is at stake than many seem to realize. . . The future of our civilization is threatened as never before.”
Gore said recent science shows that greenhouse gasses keep going up and at a faster rate than previously.

“This meeting is crucial; it must be a turning point. . .It must lay the foundations for a binding agreement next year.”

Gore added the world needs a massive and speedy shift away from carbon-based fuels like oil and coal to cleaner, greener renewable energy sources.

Earlier on Tuesday, London Mayor Boris Johnson told attendees at the climate change conference that every Londoner would be within 1.6 kilometres of an electric car charge point by 2015.

Johnson told city leaders that London’s proposed network of electric charge points would support the use of zero carbon-emission electric vehicles.

According to a press release, the plan would help London become the electric capital of Europe with 22,500 charge points at workplaces, 500 on streets and 2,000 in public car parks by 2015.

“A golden era of clean, green electric motoring is upon us and London is well ahead of cities around the globe in preparing the right conditions for this,” Johnson said in the press release.

“There is an urgent need to tackle the risk of serious and irreversible climate change, yet this does not need to be about hair shirt abstinence. I want to pursue radical yet practical steps to cut energy waste. Electric vehicles are a clear example of how technology can provide the solution to the biggest challenge of our generation.”

Progress slow, frustrations surface

Business and industry NGOs attending the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen expressed extreme frustration today at the slow and seemingly confusing pace of progress towards a new, strengthened post-Kyoto agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

At a morning briefing, the non-governmental observers shared stories of negotiating texts being continually changed between meetings and with critical issues being added or dropped from various documents. They were repeatedly told that some of the texts were heavily bracketed, meaning that some of the key issues could also be included or dropped in the future.

“It’s going to be a very, very slow process over the next few days,” said one business representative, adding many NGOs feel their messages and concerns are simply not being met.

Another representative said he had heard a negotiator saying that “we go nowhere each time we meet.”

NGOs attending the briefing were told that as the negotiating process shifts to the ministerial level today politicians will still have far too many unresolved issues to address by Friday when the conference is scheduled to end.

Rémi Gruet said later in an interview that many negotiators are asking for more time before documents go to ministers.

“The game they have been playing over the last few days is a delaying game with each of them bringing back old issues which have been sorted out already to avoid dealing with tackling the remaining major issues,” said Gruet, the climate change advisor for the European Wind Energy Association.

Gruet said it is now clear that political involvement is necessary in order to reach a new agreement that deals with rapidly reducing destructive greenhouse gas emissions caused by burning fossil fuels.

“I don’t see how [the negotiators] would achieve in one more day what they have failed to achieve over the past two years.”