Posted by Daniel, political advisor at the Bali International Conference Centre
Yvo de Boer, the head of the UNFCCC has done a lot to move the global climate negotiations forward. No questions about that. But yesterday he shocked me by - at the opening ceremony of all places - strongly endorsing fossil fuels and putting a lot of hope in making dirty fuels a little cleaner (you can listen to his speech here). This, to put it midly, is unhelpful. The fossil fuel industry, which made record profits in recent years, hardly needs de Boer's pity. It is the industry, that caused the problem we are dealing with here in the first place (as you all know, but Yvo seemed to have forgotten for a moment). Fossil fuels will not be gone tomorrow, true. But if we want to fight climate change, we need to move beyond them. At Bali governments should commit to ending all subsidies for fossil fuels - which are still massive. Institutions like the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank like to talk about how much money they spend on renewables. But they also still fund the climate problem - with much bigger sums! If we are serious about climate change, we must do all we can to invest in energy efficiency and sustainable renewable energies. If we do that, we can cut emissions from the power sector by 50%. Without unproven technologies such as 'Carbon Capture and Storage' for coal plants (CCS basically amounts to sticking emissions under a rock and hoping they will stay there). Without nuclear power. So, come on Yvo. Clear your head and endorse an energy revolution.