Shifting the energy paradigm

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© Wild Wonders of Europe / Inaki Relanzon / WWF
Four fifth of the CO2 emissions that keep heating up our planet come from burning fossil fuels. This needs to change rapidly if we want to keep global warming beyond a critical danger zone.

That means that we need to change the way how people on this planet supply themselves with energy.

We need to switch from dirty – coal – energy to clean sources in a high-efficiency world.

This requires more than just a technology change:

  • The world will spend US$16 trillion on energy infrastructure between 2001 and 2030. This money must fuel the transition to a clean and efficient energy economy.
  • Governments need to set clear, manageable but ambitious legal frameworks.
  • They also need to redirect the US$ 150 billion of annual subsidies away from fossil fuels towards supporting the switch to an efficient and clean system.
  • Power production will be based on a multitude of energy sources, coming partly from bigger power stations but much also from a score of small scale producers.
  • The new system will be based on the best efficiency levels possible.
  • Many industries can combine power and heat production in highly efficient installations.
  • Private and office buildings will use their huge potential for energy efficiency and for producing clean energy right on site.
  • Clean energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermics are the call of the future.
  • Transport will become highly energy efficient, and over time use hydrogen or other clean fuels that are produced from clean sources.
  • Costly and dangerous technologies such as nuclear will become obsolete.

Source: IEA Energy Investment Outlook 2004
 / ©: Adam Oswell / WWF-Canon
From coal to clean. Wind and solar power generation provides a clean alternative for future generations. Sydney, Australia.
© Adam Oswell / WWF-Canon

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