The climate-change experts will meet next week, continuing to strictly highlight the importance of a stronger use of renewable energy, as windfarms, to prevent a global catastrophe. In this framework, the UK’s commitment for a green growth will be subject to the fiercest control.
A report by the world's leading authorities will outline the gap between the UK government’s intention to halt the construction of more onshore windfarms and the majority of scientists’ point of view, stressing the importance of windfarms as one of the cheapest tool to provide clean energy , ensuring the environment’s safety at the same time.
The Mitigation of Climate Change's panel, by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will show that the best solution to address the climate change’s impact is to triple or even quadruple the use of renewable power plants. According to the panel, this strategy represents the only way to keep the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere below the critical level of 480 parts per million (ppm), before the middle of the century. If levels fall down this threshold, the possibilities to avoid global disorders will be very low.
The IPCC’s report represents an urgent wake-up call for governments to earmark 1-2% of GDP to replace power plants burning fossil fuels, one of the main cause of global warming, with renewable sources.
These findings constitute a great challenge for the UK. The government is now planning a program to block the construction of new onshore windfarms in Britain, that is the country's only realistic priced renewable energy option other than solar power, which has limited potential in the UK.
In this context, there are strong green lobby’s protests against the British government, accusing of failing to meet its commitments to become the greenest government ever.
The government’s decision to restrain the construction of new onshore windfarms could paralyze the UK capability to curtail carbon dioxide emissions and lead to higher energy prices, experts say.
Data show that onshore wind power costs around £90 per megawatt hour to generate, but for offshore windfarms, this rises to £150. On the other hand, the use of other renewables is limited or not fully developed, as the tidal power. Additionally, the nuclear power represents a possible alternative, but there are controversial debates and a complete construction program would take decades to be approved and realized.
Moreover, the renewable energy’s choice is endorsed by the public, so the government should perform actions to put the UK at the forefront of this energy revolution.
According to Greenpeace’s view, there is yet time to avoid the worst effects of climate change, adopting clean energy solutions to cut carbon pollution. Additionally, renewable energy technologies represent the cheapest option in a large number of major markets, quickly becoming cheaper.
In this way, the IPCC report states that the target to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius will be feasible only if the increasing carbon emissions are rapidly braked and reversed.
The global temperatures would rise by 0.3 - 4.8˚C in this century, on top of roughly 0.7˚C since time of industrial revolution, and seas are expected to rise by 26 - 82cm by 2100, the first report forecasts. Following this, the second report highlights that the risk of conflict, hunger, floods and mass displacement would increase with every minuscule rise in temperature.
Climate experts strongly affirm that, in order to fight the climate change’s impact, inaction cannot be allowed to continue. As such, governments must agree on a climate plan that will come into force in 2020. In case of delays, the costs of mitigating climate change will exponentially increase due to higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The UK economists warn that the current environmental framework represents a severe memento for implementing adequate actions against climate change by building cleaner and more efficient economies. Thus, renewable energy can no longer be considered a niche market, but renewables should take the full share of the global energy market in the next few decades, the WWF says.
The gLAWcal Team
Monday, 14 April 2014
(Source: The Guardian)