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World News | July 2012

Greenpeace, EREC, GWEC launch global energy roadmap

A major expansion of renewable energy and more energy efficient vehicles can end the world’s dependence on fossil fuels and save the fragile Arctic from the destruction of oil exploration, according to a new comprehensive energy roadmap launched by Greenpeace, the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). The report, Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook, includes a detailed, practical roadmap for reducing oil demand by around 80 per cent, especially for the transportation sector. The Energy [R]evolution demonstrates there would be no need to exploit the Arctic and other marginal sources of oil, such as the tar sands in Canada, and offshore oil in Brazil, if more renewable energy powered our vehicles and if much stronger efficiency standards for cars were adopted globally including Europe and India.

Sven Teske, Greenpeace International’s Senior Energy Expert and co-author of the report, said, “The way to reduce oil demand and end the threat of drilling in the fragile Arctic ecosystem along with eliminating demand to exploit other marginal oil sources is to make cars far more energy efficient and to make more use of electric transport systems powered by renewable energy. The renewable power industry is improving rapidly, but the car industry is dragging its feet on offering the required new technologies.”

To ensure that the Arctic and other unconventional sources of oil are not exploited, policy makers must:
  • Ensure new cars in Europe meet an average efficiency standard that is 40 per cent lower than today,
  • Ensure that other regions of the world start implementing similar car efficiency standards,
  • Ensure that the energy demand of cars drops to one-third of today’s level in the long term by decreasing car sizes through lighter materials and greater use of electric drives.
Manish Ram, Analyst- Renewable Energy, Greenpeace India, said, “There is need to embark on regulatory reforms in the power sector enabling rapid strides in renewable energy technology development for ensuring electricity to all and strong economic growth on an urgent basis.”

Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council, said, “With the right support, wind power generation alone could reach over 1,000 GW by 2020 – about 12 per cent of the world’s electricity. This would yield many benefits, such as enhancing energy security and would be a key in helping mitigate climate change. But, in order for wind to reach its full potential, governments need to act: on climate change, on air pollution and to stop subsidising the fossil fuel industry.”

Josche Muth, Secretary General of the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), said, “Higher upfront investment needs will pay-off in the long run both in economic terms and for society at large. The world’s politicians must commit to making the shift to RE and ensure they provide ongoing support to facilitate the shift.”
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