GWEC Urges G8 leaders to Switch to Renewables

GWEC Urges G8 leaders to Switch to Renewables

GWEC Secretary General says world leaders are paying lip service to combatting climate change.

June 15, 2013
Manufacturing Group

Global Wind Day, celebrated annually on June 15, enables citizens to discover wind energy across the world. This year an online action has been launched to put pressure on world leaders, ahead of the G8 summit on June 17 and 18 to keep their commitment to phase out fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the level of subsidies to fossil fuels has gone up by nearly 30% to $620 billion since 2010 and today fossil fuels receive six times more subsidies than renewable energy. Meanwhile atmospheric global carbon dioxide levels have reached a record high of 400ppm seriously hindering efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control.

“While world leaders pay lip service to combating climate change, what they are actually doing is subsidizing CO2 emissions to the tune of $110/ton. Fossil fuel energy subsidy reform could take us a long way towards protecting the climate”, said Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of GWEC.

Wind energy has become a mainstream technology. It is already cheaper in Australia and Brazil than conventional energy sources and directly competes with them in an expanding number of markets including Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, and parts of China and the United States.

"Wind power is turning into the power technology of choice as utilities, energy planners, and governments seek to diversify their energy mix, reduce CO2 emissions and air pollution, protect their economies from volatile fossil fuel prices and benefit from increased investment and job creation," representatives from GWEC say in a statement. "With the right policy support wind could reach 1,000GW by 2020 avoiding more than 9 billion tons of CO2 emissions per year."

According to a Eurobarometer survey 89% of EU citizens are in favour of wind energy, compared to 43% for coal and 36% for nuclear. In 2012 a survey conducted in the U.S. showed that 71% of Americans want to see more wind power development, and in Canada a research poll found that 78% of Ontarians say that wind is one of the safest forms of electricity generation. In a recent survey in the U.K., two-thirds of the Britons voted in favor of wind energy.