Decarbonisation is what the world desperately needs, if civilization-destroying global warming is to be avoided we need to make the low carbon energy transition very quickly indeed, the experts say. In other words we must stop using fossil fuels like coal, and move over to using renewable energy, if we are to survive temperature rises which will raise sea levels, flood our great cities, and burn up our crops.
There have been many doubters who would say that the low carbon energy transition, (i.e. changeover to renewable energy), is just impossible. They say it will be:
- Too expensive
- There will never be enough of it
- It will never be reliable enough to use it to replace fossil fuels.
And, yet these arguments are being shown to be completely wrong! The low carbon energy transition is happening rapidly in the biggest energy using industry! The energy supply industry is decarbonizing fast, as we explain immediately below.
The only problem is that only part of our carbon emissions which are causing climate change come from the use of fuels to provide energy. The agricultural sector creates about 15% of those damaging greenhouse gas emissions, and rearing stock (cattle, pigs, chickens etc) for meat production is a big contributor and reduction in this sector needs to be part of the low carbon energy transition. Clearly those carbon emissions need reducing as well, so read-on to our final section below, to see how some people are suggesting an additional meat tax, to tackle this problem. Would you support a meat tax, or do you enjoy meat eating too much? Read on and please give us your views by commenting on this article.
Renewable energy made up half of world’s new power plants in 2014: IEA
Renewable energy accounted for almost half of all new power plants in 2014, representing a “clear sign that an energy transition is underway”, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
“The biggest story is in the case of renewables,” said IEA executive director, Fatih Birol. “It is no longer a niche. Renewable energy has become a mainstream fuel, as of now.” He said 60% of all new investment was going into renewables but warned that the $490bn of fossil fuel subsidies in 2014 meant there was not a “fair competition”.
Amid the energy transition, the IEA said the price of oil, currently under $50 a barrel, was likely to recover only to $80 by 2020 and see modest growth beyond….
The rapid rise of renewables charted in the new IEA report will lead to a dramatic slowdown in the growth of carbon emissions, the agency said. But, just weeks ahead of a crunch UN climate change summit in Paris, the IEA calculated that the world was still on course for 2.7C of global warming, significantly above the 2C considered to be the threshold of dangerous warming. “A major course correction is still required,” said the report.
“World leaders meeting in Paris must set a clear direction for the accelerated transformation of the global energy sector,” said Birol. “The difference between 2.7C and 2C is not something meaning you can take your jacket off and adapt to life – it will have major implications for all of us.”…
The IEA has been criticised in the past for underestimating the speed of solar energy deployment. “The global breakthrough of renewable energy has happened much faster than anticipated,” said Emily Rochon, global energy strategist at Greenpeace International. “The IEA is catching up on renewable energy trends, but it is still failing to see the full potential of change. We believe that with the right level of policy support, the world can deliver 100% renewable energy for all by 2050.”
Birol said the IEA’s previous forecasts for hydropower and wind power had been correct and that solar projections were based on the government support existing at the time. “If the policies change, the numbers will change as well,” he said. “They may need to be revised [upwards] next year. I hope so.” Via Renewable energy made up half of world’s new power plants in 2014: IEA
World’s Most Polluting Nations to Double Renewables Output
Eight of the world’s 10 most polluting countries are expected to double their collective renewable energy capacity in the next 15 years, a new study from the World Resources Institute (WRI) has found.
WRI’s analysis, Assessing the Post-2020 Clean Energy Landscape, looks at plans from eight of the 10 largest greenhouse gas emitters — Brazil, China, the EU, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and the US — concluding that their cumulative clean energy supply will jump from approximately 9,000 TWh in 2012 to 20,000 TWh in 2030.
This increase is equivalent to all of India’s current energy demand, with the uptick driven by a flurry of new national energy targets announced over the past year.
- China will increase the share of non-fossil fuel in primary energy consumption to around 20% by 2030
- Japan will increase its share of renewables in total electricity generation to approximately 22 to 24% by 2030
- Mexico will increase clean energy sources in the national electricity generation mix to 35% by 2024
- US will increase its share of renewables – beyond hydropower – in the electricity generation mix to 20% by 2030
“These new renewable energy targets send strong signals to energy markets and investment circles,” said the global director of the WRI climate programme Jennifer Morgan.
“Combined with the Paris climate agreement, it’s clear that renewable energy is poised to surge forward in the next 15 years bringing clean and affordable power to millions of people worldwide.”
The remaining two emitters among the top ten, Canada and Russia, have not put forward post-2020 renewable energy targets and were not assessed.
WRI also analysed the 127 intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) already submitted to the UN, finding that 80% of them referenced clean energy; 67 mentioned clean energy targets; and 35 put forward clean energy actions.
However, despite this progress, current global efforts [toward the low carbon energy transition] to cut greenhouse gas emissions leave about half of the necessary reductions still to be found, according to a new analysis by the UN. Via World’s most polluting nations to double renewables output
Tax Meat to Help Save the Planet, Urges Report
Meat should be taxed to reduce consumption, promote more vegetarian diets and ensure the world avoids “dangerous” climate change, a report warns, [if a global low carbon energy transition is to be successful].
The recommendation is included in a report by thinktank Chatham House (pdf), which says global meat consumption is a “major driver” of climate change.
But a carbon tax could make meat more expensive and reduce meat on offer in schools and hospitals and the armed forces to promote healthier diets, the report suggests.
The livestock sector accounts for 15% of global emissions, equivalent to exhaust emissions from all vehicles in the world, the report states.
The study, Changing Climate, Changing Diets – Pathways to Lower Meat Consumption, warns that unless demand for meat falls, livestock emissions could trigger dangerous climate change.
Responding to the report, UK farming organisations said livestock farmers were working hard to reduce emissions and it ignored the essential role farmers and land managers play in managing the countryside.
Global meat consumption has already reached “unhealthy levels” and is on the increase – and is set to rise by 76% by 2050.
In industrialized countries, the average person is eating twice as much meat as is deemed healthy by experts, according to the study. Via Tax meat to help save the planet, urges report