Climate change & renewable energies
The development of new technologies and excessive use of these have a fatal impact on our environment. Global warming has been a major issue over the past years with scientific evidence that our modern technologies and chemicals destroy our environment and habitats. Industries but also farming are major contributors to global warming due to their massive use of chemicals and pesticides, polluting the air, soils and water. Industrial and energy production, the burning of fossil fuels and the drastic increase of traffic on our roads all contribute to air pollution in our cities.
Human society and the environment are very sensitive to climate change. Climate change is causing droughts, fires and floods in several countries but also significant air pollution and rising ozone levels. As a consequence, the deterioration of the environment is a threat to human health, biodiversity and habitats.
According to a prominent environmental economist, investing into high-tech renewable energy technologies is the best way to reduce carbon emissions. Bjorn Lomborg, a climate policy sceptic from the global think-tank The Copenhagen Consensus Centre, says carbon taxes and emissions targets haven't worked. Mr Lomborg says the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) should set the stage for a new approach. "We tried (emissions reduction) with the Kyto Protocol, we tried to get a big global agreement in Copenhagen in 2009 and it's just really hard to get people to cut their carbon emissions."Remember we don't burn fossil fuels to annoy Al Gore, we burn them because they really power everything we like about society."What we have to do is find a way to make green energy so cheap that eventually everyone, including China and India, will want to buy it."So instead of these treaties where we say 'would you please burn a little less fossil fuels' we should focus on ramping up innovation so that green energy becomes so cheap that everybody wants to buy it." UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called for countries to "bring strong pledges to cut emissions" to a UN Climate Summit next year which Mr Lomborg says ignores the reality of the situation. "This has been the UN's preferred solution for at least ten, maybe 20 years and I can understand they've decided they're not going to leave that (strategy). "Obviously it would be great if we could get everyone (around the world) but it's just not going to happen. "It has a significant cost for individual countries for only a tiny benefit for 100 years from now.
"That's really why it's so hard to get countries to agree on this. "So why keep repeating the same pattern and make pledges that we don't keep, why not pledge to invest in renewables. "Our research shows that for every dollar you invest in green technology development, you save $11 in climate damage." Bjorn Lomborg says the emphasis needs to be on new, not existing technologies. He believes the amount of money that's been sunk into existing solar schemes by renewable energy leader Germany is wasted. "Germany has committed to spend about $130 billion on solar panels the net effect of which will be to postpone global warming by the end of the century by 37 hours. The IPCC has allocated a global 'carbon budget' which it says the world needs to stay within if it is to keep global warming to 2 degrees. "Yes, if you want to stay within the 2 degrees limit we should basically cut carbon emissions dramatically around the world right now. "That would be nice but it's just not going to happen."So do we want to keep making promises and then not seeing them happen but not having a solution in place. "Or do we want to spend the money on research and development, and have a much better chance to fix the problem over the coming decades. "The truth is, almost everyone you ask (in this climate discussion) are we going to make this 2 degree limit, the off the record answer is no."