For Immediate Release
New Global Energy Strategy Tackles Climate Change and Saves $18 Trillion in Fuel Costs
WASHINGTON - At a time when polluting corporations are trying
to use the economic slowdown as an excuse to delay action on global
warming, a new Greenpeace report shows that aggressive investment in
renewable power and energy efficiency can create a $360 billion a year
industry, provide half of the world's electricity, and slash $18
trillion in future fuel expenditures while protecting the climate.
"Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook," drafted by
the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and Greenpeace
International, provides a practical blueprint for rapidly cutting
energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to help ensure that emissions
of the heat-trapping gases peak and then fall by 2015, the time frame
scientists say is critical to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of
global warming. This can be achieved while ensuring economies in China,
India, and other developing nations have access to the energy needed to
lift people out of poverty.
"Unlike other energy scenarios that promote energy futures at the cost
of the climate, our energy revolution scenario shows how to save money
and maintain global economic development without fuelling catastrophic
climate change. All we need to kick start this plan is bold energy
policy from world leaders," said Sven Teske, Greenpeace International's
Senior Energy Expert and co-author of the report.
"Strict efficiency standards make sound economic sense and dramatically
slow down rising global energy demand. The energy saved in
industrialized countries will make space for increased energy use in
developing economies. With renewable energy growing four-fold not only
in the electricity sector, but also in the heating and transport
sectors, we can still cut the average carbon emissions per person from
today's four tons to around one ton by 2050," he added.
In the context of today's economic uncertainty, investing in renewable
energy technologies offers a win-win-win scenario: a win for the
economy, a win for the climate, and a win for energy security. The
report estimates that the cost of continued reliance on coal, from
today through 2030, is as high as $15.9 trillion, more than required to
pay for the renewable solutions proposed in the plan. These clean
energy sources will produce electricity without any additional fuel
costs after 2030, while creating millions of jobs and stimulating the
Oliver Schäfer, EREC Policy Director said, "The global market for
renewable energy can grow at a double digit rates until 2050, and
overtake the size of today's fossil fuel industry. Currently, the
renewable energy market is worth $70 billion and doubling in size every
"Because of economies of scale, renewable energies such as wind power
at good sites are already competitive with conventional power. From
around 2015 onwards, we are confident that renewable sources across all
sectors will be the most cost effective. The renewable industry is
ready and able to deliver the needed capacity to make the energy
revolution a reality. There is no technical impediment but a political
barrier to rebuild the global energy sector," he added.
"Countries like China and India are well placed to take the enormous
investment opportunity presented by the energy revolution," said John
Passacantando, Greenpeace U.S.A. Executive Director. "It would be
short-sighted for them to focus on fossil fuels to power their rapid
economic growth. The energy revolution is key to them climate proofing
The report also highlights the short time window for making the key
decisions in energy infrastructure. In order to achieve a greenhouse
gas emission peak by 2015 and a fast reduction afterwards, governments,
investment institutions and companies must act swiftly, and agree to a
strengthened UN climate deal.
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