We are still waiting for 100% Renewable Energy

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While delegates are negotiating until late hours in Lima, we already know that the past two weeks signal an important shift in fighting climate change: For the first time in 20 years of climate negotiations, governments at the UN climate summit in Lima, Peru seriously discussed the need to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050. The phase out of fossil fuel emissions by mid-century was an idea that gained support from over 100 countries.

Have we done our job now? No, not yet. As it is usually the case with these complicated transitions, the devil is in the details. Our dependence upon fossil resources has not only caused climate change, but has also built a system that lacks diversity and security, threatens the health of our citizens, jeopardizes the stability of the earth’s climate, and robs future generations of clean air, clean water, and energy independence. Only by turning to 100% renewable energy (RE) today  can we alleviate a host of ills that beset us.

Does “zero carbon emissions by 2050” actually mean the same as 100% RE? Well, not necessarily. “Zero carbon emissions” leaves the door open for certain technologies – including nuclear and Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) – that lock us in a harmful energy system which still lacks diversity and security for people and the planet. “Zero carbon emissions” and “phase out of fossil resources” alone do not result in a socially just and inclusive society. Further, industrialized countries at COP20 are backing from their promises and responsbility on financing the necessary transition. 

This is why the World Future Council in cooperation with others continues to advocate for a binding agreement next year in Paris that includes a global transition towards 100% renewables and a key role for the Green Climate Fund in financing this transition in the developing world.

Many influential voices have joined us in this endeavour: local and national governments, faith communities that include Catholic bishops, leading businesses, celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, scientists and a big alliance of civil society organizations. We are committed to working hard on sustaining and harnessing the momentum from Lima by pushing governments into raising their game for a more ambitious global climate deal that actually responds adequately to the crises we are facing.

Find out more about our global campaign on 100% Renewable Energy here: www.go100re.net

Saturday, December 13th, 2014