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Climate Solver on the Road

WWF has been invited by the EU Presidency to exhibit Climate Solver during the informal meetings of the Energy and Environment Ministers in Åre. The overarching theme for the Swedish Presidency is a European Eco-Efficient Economy. So Climate Solver and WWF’s pragmatic, solutions oriented approach is well aligned with this agenda.

My colleagues and I have spent the last two days with delegates from the Energy Ministries highlighting the role that Climate Entrepreneurs can play in providing sustainable energy supply and in achieving targets for energy efficiency. We will continue sharing our ideas with the Environment Ministers who convene today and tomorrow.

Of course there is much to be discussed in this area, but generally we have focused on the following key points:

1. The need to set the right framework for creating new markets and market demand for sustainable energy technologies. For example, through both public and private procurement, incentives for companies and consumers, and an effective price on Carbon.

2. Policies for commercialization which would lead to global diffusion of these technologies – including financing from R&D to private funding. In essence bridging the Valley of Death!

3. EPBD (European Building Directive) and a strong push for energy efficiency – Zero net energy houses from 2015.

4. Shift from conventional tech transfer to multilateral technology cooperation. For example, China and India as suppliers of climate solutions, capacity building in developing countries for improved innovation systems.

5. ICT as an enabler – shift focus from the ICT sector’s own emissions, to their role in enabling others to reduce emissions on a large scale through the use of these technologies, i.e. smart grid, e-health, virtual meetings.

Finally, the need to create conditions that support the commercialization and dissimination of new technologies in both the developed and the developing world has been mentioned on numerous occasions. Economist Lord Nicholas Stern emphasized this morning the importance of changing from the negative language used in reference to financing climate change mitigation (ie burdens -as in burden sharing) to opportunity and increased competitiveness. He also encouraged ministers to challenge numbers being floated around regarding costs of mitigation and to thoroughly examine cost vs investments and to allow a more reasonable (=longterm) perspective on ROI. Makes sense to me.

The general mood has been very positive and cooperative. Can’t help feeling that people are starting to speak the same language, which is a good first step. But is this just a case of “do as I say, not as I do?”  We’ll see – watch this space;)

Here comes the sun 2009

WWF Spain has been issuing a monthly bulletin (Observatorio de la electricidad) with the main data on the environmental quality of electricity in Spain and on the emissions by the power sector. It has been almost three years since their first issue and they have now compiled a short assessment in English for the first half of 2009. Hereafter some of the findings:

 - RES technologies have reached a 29% of the power market (1% point short of the Spanish EU objective of 30% by 2010)

 - Solar power has produced 2% of all electricity delivered to the grid: Almost 3.000 GWh, enough to supply 600.000 Spanish homes.

 - Emissions are down 36% compared to 2005 and 20% compared to 2008.

 - Market prices are down 34,5% compared to 2008 and 30% compared to 2008.

 - Demand is down 6% compared to 2008 but up 0,4% compared to 2005.

 - Nuclear power production is down 10% compared to the average for the last 10 years, and 14,4% compared to 2008. 

Thanks to renewables and less demand, electricity in Spain is cleaner, cheaper and safer! Still a lot of work to do but somehow there are some glimmers of hope…

To find out more, please click on the link to the Fact Sheet hereafter: Here comes the sun 2009