Path clear but no big steps taken in Warsaw
Industry insiders reporting from the UN-sponsored climate change talks in Warsaw say the solutions to the energy market’s effect on the environment are already here.
Findings from a study by the International Renewable Energy Agency were discussed at the summit, including the suggestion that through investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy; global warming may be able to be capped at a less disastrous level.
“The role of renewables is not yet fully appreciated,” Dolf Gielen, the director of IRENA’s innovation and technology centre in Bonn said before the last day of negotiations at the Warsaw climate talks.
“There is big gap between what countries see and think is happening, and what is already happening in the market. There really is a need to catch up with the market developments.”
Gielen’s talk reportedly pointed to solar photo-voltaic methods as a good example. He says “official forecasts” would see global solar generation hit 450GW in 2030, but went further to say that 1200GW may be a better target.
Under the modelling in the report – to be available in January – all of the shifts toward a cleaner direction can come at little or no extra cost.
A lot needs to happen to bring about the bold goals outlined in the paper to be titled ‘ReMap 2030’, including the early retirement of old fuel plants, a complete shift in transport modes, and the large-scaled encouragement and investment in new technologies.
Others at the global summit have spoken about the almost “surreal” mood, caused by the fact that there is plenty that can be done, but very few seem willing to actually do it.
“There is still a great deal of mis-information out there,” Mark Radka, the director of the energy program at the UN Environment Program, said.
“Look at the developments on things like solar PV. Some delegates still think the status quo is at it was in 2004.
“What is necessary in these negotiations is to realise what is possible – it could give a real sense of enthusiasm and optimism to the negotiations.”
Australia has pledged not to sign any new agreements at the talks, indicating the eagerness – or lack thereof – from the current government to deal with the very present, escalating and deadly dangers.