The challenge now in moving forward is how do we keep under the 2% climate change projections when the politicians don’t maintain the commitment? The following is the follow up to the last article written by Kelly Rigg of the Huffington Post. In it she outlines what is required to keep us inside the 2% Climate Change explosion.
To keep that door to 2°C open, three things need to happen:
More renewables: We need to invest in renewable energy services like there’s no tomorrow. (Literally!)
Displace Fossil Fuels: Simply adding more renewables to the mix isn’t enough, they need to displace fossil fuels. Global investment in clean energy reached a record-breaking high of $260 billion in 2011. According to the IEA, however, energy demand is expected to rise by a third by 2035. While the share of fossil fuels in the total energy mix will shrink, without a dramatic change of direction our use of these climate-deadly fuels will grow in absolute terms.
Conservation and Efficiency: In addition to adopting policies which create incentives to invest in renewables, and disincentives to invest in fossil fuels (phasing out fossil fuel subsidies to start with), we need to conserve energy wherever possible, and to use energy more efficiently.
So here’s why the G8 missed the point. Nothing in the “Camp David Declaration” comes even close to moving us off the frightening trajectory which the IEA is warning about. It explicitly endorses an “all of the above” approach to meeting our energy needs, and foresees continued long-term investment in extracting every last drop of petroleum from the breadth and depth of the planet:
This is a slow moving train wreak. The G8 is not just making the European economy a priority, but it is simply displacing climate change management alltogether. This week in the news our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper is deflecting his criminal de-funding of the government environmental agencies pitting the economy against environmentalism. He is pointing fingers at Spains current banking failures and the European debt crisis saying there are simply more important issues at stake. For this government, like the Bush Government before it in the US, Harper is building a house of fear in the voting public, maintaining an us or them position through inference that if we don’t make these cuts we will end up like Spain.
What he is really doing is systematically eliminating the roadblocks in his drive to encourage his petrocurrency from Canada’s Tar Sands. A concept that strengthens Alberta at the expense of the Ontario, Quebec and BC economies. A severe down side to his flawed principles of economics is that it is a short term benefit for a devistating long term loss. There are an untold volume of studies that point to the horrendous costs to countries like Canada as a result of climate change. Unfortunately making this effort is not going to be without significant sacrifices and cultural changes, but without those sacrifices our children are doomed to pay a much heavier price in the future. A price that could also cost lives, and not just money.