Governments must put a price on carbon emissions and make pledges early next year to move away from fossil fuels and increase the share of renewable energy into the global power mix, according to a signed statement from wind industry players.
Wind energy associations, including those from emerging markets such as Brazil, China, South Africa, India and Mexico have joined the call on governments to outline carbon pricing schemes and national action plans that will attract investors into the renewable energy market.
The declaration marks the beginning of the ‘SolutionWind’ campaign, which is backed by the European Wind Energy Association and is set to be launched at the COP20 negotiations in Lima before ending in Paris next year.
Joël Meggelaars, political affairs advisor at the European Wind Energy Association, outlined what is needed on the road to Paris in 2015. He said: “If we are going to move away from the allure of fossil fuels and into a new era of renewable and wind energy, we need every country to put a price on carbon and set clear strategies that will win over investors in the long-run. As the IPCC has shown, the quicker we act on this transition, the cheaper it will be.”
Meggelaars added: “We also need to encourage those countries in the developing world to move straight to wind energy as the solution to electricity access and to bypass the high-polluting industrial epoch that characterised the last century. That will spur economic growth in remote areas and increase the standard of living for millions of people who are yet to switch their lights on.”
According to the World Bank, 20% of the world’s population is still without access to electricity. The SolutionWind campaign aims to show industrialised and developing nations that wind energy is already the lowest-cost form of new electricity generation in many areas of the world due to significant advances in cost reduction.
In some European countries such as Denmark, Spain and Portugal, wind energy is the largest source of electricity. According to GWEC’s 2014 Global Wind Energy Outlook, by 2030, wind power could supply between 17% and 19% of global electricity demand and help save over three billion tons of CO2 emissions annually.
Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council, said: “Wind power’s scalability, speed of deployment and plummeting costs make it the ideal choice to bring about the early emissions reductions necessary if we are to have a chance to keep global mean temperature rise to 2?C or less. A few bold countries have stated here in Lima that we can reduce emissions to zero by mid-century. With the right leadership, we could do it before then.”
Sonia Lioret, secretary general of the French Wind Energy Association, said: “We are actively engaged in the COP and are convinced that all countries, especially emerging and developing economies have an important role to play. For this reason, having a common vision of the wind industry in all countries will show our sector as a solution fighting against climate change.”