World needs global climate leadership from EU ? and to continue UN talks

he EU should continue leading by example despite the failure of the UN climate talks, the wind industry says. Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive of European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), said: “The world needs global climate leadership from the EU in 2010 more than ever, now that the other super-powers have shown their lack of ambition."

"The Copenhagen Accord is the lowest common denominator which China and the United States could agree. The text did not produce a legally binding treaty or deliver a plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

The only thing it achieved was a commitment-free text “to hold the increase in global temperature below 2°C." The rest of the world, including the EU which had offered to cut carbon by 30% compared to 1990 levels if there was strong global deal, could only take it or leave it. China and the US established a new world order in Copenhagen.

“The European Wind Energy Association urges world leaders to work tirelessly on reaching a legally binding international treaty as soon as possible next year, to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 30% by 2020. The clock is ticking, immediate action is required, and we are running out of time,” Kjaer said.

Wind power can show the way to a new climate change agreement

Science clearly shows that humankind has to reject the business-as-usual approach to energy derived from polluting fossil fuels, that we have to collectively lower the temperature of our warming atmosphere, that we have to embrace a new green revolution that encompasses, among other elements, emissions-free wind power.

It is a terrible dilemma and one that we can not run from. Nicholas Stern, an economist who analyses the cost of climate change, said national emissions pledges already made are just a few billion tonnes shy of CO2 cuts needed to meet global 2020 targets.

Annual greenhouse gas emissions have to drop from about 47 billion tonnes in 2010 to approximately 44 billion tonnes in 2020, Stern said, adding they then have to decrease to much less than 20 billion tonnes in 2050 if humankind is to have a 50-50 chance of avoiding a global temperature increase of more than 2¢ªC, which many scientists regard as the threshold for dangerous climate change.

“If you add up the most ambitious of the intentions to reduce emissions that have been expressed so far, they are, if delivered, around two billion tonnes higher than the overall 2020 goal,” said Stern, calling on politicians to reach a strong political agreement in Copenhagen that would prompt a revolutionary transformation.

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) predicted in a new and revised publication called Pure Power that the industry — local, affordable, sustainable and environmentally-friendly — can meet up to 16.6% of EU electricity demand by 2020, or 14.1% in a lower, business-as-usual scenario.

The New York Times, meanwhile, reported on an academic study in the Scientific American which said wind, solar and water technologies could supply 100% of the planet’s energy needs by 2030, thus eliminating the need for fossil fuels entirely. More than half of the total global electrical demand could be provided by 3.8 million large wind turbines, the study added.

EWEA would like to remind politicians trying to limit the potential ravages of unchecked global warming caused by dirty fossil fuels that wind power continues to represent a proven solution to the vexing climate change conundrum.

Wind power not only wants to part of that healthier, cleaner revolution: it already is.