The energy [r]evolution starts here

Feature Story - 2007-01-26
Tackling dangerous climate change is the biggest challenge facing us all. Fortunately there is an answer to this challenge. Our report: ‘energy [r]evolution’, details how to halve global CO2 emissions by 2050, using existing technology and still providing affordable energy and economic growth. In short - a revolution in energy policy and an evolution in how we use energy.

Developing countries like China can develop and grow using renewable energy to avoid the mistakes of old climate-changing energy economies of developed countries.

The debate about climate change is over. Solutions are needed now. The energy [r]evolution is the road map for how to provide power for everyone without fuelling climate change.

We don't need to freeze in the dark. We don't need to build nuclear power plants. We don't need to cripple economic growth. We can make a safe and sustainable world energy scenario a reality.

We can have reliable renewable energy, and use energy more smartly to achieve the cuts in carbon emissions required to prevent dangerous climate change. Crucially this can be done while phasing out damaging and dangerous coal and nuclear energy.

Sven Teske, our energy expert, took a leading role in producing the report: "The Energy Revolution scenario comes as the world is crying out for a road map for tackling the dilemma of how to provide the power we all need, without fuelling climate change. "Renewable energies are competitive, if government's phase-out subsidies for fossil and nuclear fuels and introduce the `polluter-pays principle`. We urge politicians to ban those subsidies by 2010."

The plan also details how large developing countries like India, China and Brazil can develop and grow using renewable energy to avoid the mistakes of old climate-changing energy economies of developed countries.

The Energy Revolution is not just our vision for the future. It was written with the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and in conjunction with specialists from the German Space Agency and more than 30 scientists and engineers from universities, institutes and the renewable energy industry around the world.

Revolution in energy policy

"The stone age did not end for lack of stone, and the oil age will end long before the world runs out of oil."

Sheikh Zaki Yamani, former Saudi oil minister.

It is clear that current 'business as usual' approach to energy supply cannot continue. However the longer we delay making significant change, the tougher those changes will need to be. In the next three years, major energy investment will be made in countries around the world. We have the opportunity to say farewell to old, polluting energy sources and to welcome in a new, more efficient and conflict-free energy future.

Politicians need to grasp this chance with both hands or be the ones whose negligence helped ensure dangerous climate change to be inevitable. You can help ensure a change by voting for politicians who support the Energy [R]evolution.

Evolution in energy use

Governments and industry need to drive a massive change in the way energy is produced.  But we as individuals also have to drive a massive change in the way we use energy.

Using energy smartly can double energy efficiency by 2050. With a few simple steps, every one of us can do our bit.

Revolution and evolution are unforgiving forces. Nobody wants to be on the wrong side of either one. But it's time to choose: all of us are either part of the [r]evolution, or we're part of the problem. And unless all of us are part of the solution, all of us have a problem.

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