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Posts Tagged / renewable energy

  • Jan 01 / 2014
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Journal

A new global advocate for universal access to renewable energy

solar panel BWWhen the first session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, last year, I was already in the area and attended on behalf of the Social Justice Committee. IRENA is to be an independent, international agency run by countries who want to move into a future that doesn’t rely on nonrenewable energy sources like fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

Much of the inspiration for IRENA came from the work of Hermann Scheer, a German politician, activist, writer and an outspoken advocate for renewable energy. Opposed to the fossil fuel and nuclear industries until his death in 2010, he tried to counter their message that a future powered by renewable energy is naïve and not possible, a path that will cause severe economic hardship and leave people freezing in the dark.

Founded in January 2009, IRENA now has more than 100 member countries, and 58 others have signed in support and/or applied for membership. Canada is not a member, and has not indicated support. We have not even reached the stage of thinking about developing our own national “energy road map,” a stage reached by many European countries thirty years ago. Continue Reading

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  • Sep 01 / 2010
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Journal

World Bank gives South Africa massive loan to burn coal: Says renewable energy is not a viable alternative

In April the World Bank approved a US$ 3.75 billion loan for the South African Electricity Supply Commissions (Eskom), to fund what will become the fourth largest coal-fired power plant in the world. The decision was not unanimous. The United States, the United Kingdom, Italy and the Netherlands abstained over environmental concerns, since coal is the world’s single largest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions.

The World Bank faces a difficult challenge: to meet the need for energy in low-income countries while simultaneously building the foundations of a low-carbon future as emissions increase and global warming becomes a reality. While many third world countries are left with little choice but to use coal for development – it is inexpensive compared to other energy sources – it remains the most environmentally destructive source of energy on the planet. Continue Reading

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