Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Renewable energy still cannot halt climate change

Renewable energy is growing at a record level in many countries around the globe and also the use of energy sources is becoming more and more efficient. But how much does this actually count in our fight against climate change? Very little, because carbon dioxide emissions still continue to grow even despite these measures. Why is that?

The main reason why renewable energy and improved energy efficiency aren't able to halt the growth in carbon emissions is the ever-increasing demand for power and transport, which is the strongest in developing countries such as China and India.

The economic boom in developing countries craves for more power and transport to keep it going and most of this power and transport comes from the fossil fuels because renewable energy, despite its remarkable growth in the last ten years, is still a minor source of energy when compared to coal, oil and natural gas.

Something needs to change in global climate policy but this so much needed change in global climate policy is nowhere to be seen on the horizon because world leaders still cannot agree on new climate deal. The climate talks have so far been anything but successful because there is still no consensus between the developed and the developing world about what our next step should be.

All eyes are set on US and China, two largest carbon emitters in the world. China is overall leader in carbon dioxide emissions while US is the largest CO2 emitter per capita by emitting 16.9 tonnes CO2 per capita, two and the half time as much as China at 6.8 tonnes per capita.

The transition to renewable is still not going as fast as it should go. Not only that, the majority of energy analysts agree that fossil fuels will remain dominant energy sources till at least 2050, which in business as usual scenario means that the climate change will reach the point of no return (the global temperature increase of two degrees Celsius).

This will account for frequent extreme weather events such as tsunamis and hurricanes, cause global sea level rise, drought, floods, hunger, new diseases and millions of refugees.

World leaders are still not taking the threat of climate change seriously. It seems like they believe they have all the time in the world to do something about it. The truth is that the time for action has almost run out. No more talks, give us the necessary action. Please.

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