November 17, 2000
The Kyoto Protocol will be a disaster of bigger proportions if it subsidises carbon-based energy through CDM. The world will then not achieve safe concentration levels until the end of the century.
The world needs investments in R&D and policy changes that drive down fossil fuel subsidies in the North and the South
Even a focus on energy efficiency will not work (see below)
The only way to fight the climate problem is to move to renewable energy
Renewable energy is faced with an ever receding target!
No matter how cheap it gets, fossil fuels, which are highly subsidsed, will get cheaper
Under CDM developing countries must demand renewables developed by industrialised countries. If they accept fossil fuel technology, once they have taken on the commitments they will have to phase out the very technology they invested in recently.
The South could provide an ideal market for renewable technology once it has been developed. It would be modular, and many people in the developing world are not linked to the electricity grid.
But renewables do show dramatic results:
Renewable energy has made progress over the past few years despite lack of encouragement from governments
If we dont move towards renewables immediately, we will be 'locked' into fossil fuels for a long time.