An alternative to a global climate deal may be unfolding before our eyes

An alternative to a global climate deal may be unfolding before our eyes / Johan Lilliestam, Antonella Battaglini, Charlotte Finlay, Daniel Fürstenwerth, Anthony Patt, Gus Schellekens and Peter Schmidt. Climate and Development, vol. 4, n° 1, 2012 (forthcoming)

Given the slow progress of international climate talks, many have come to see the “green economy” as a more promising approach: If we can make low-carbon technologies profitable, reliable and affordable, they argue, they could be successfully deployed around the world even without mandatory emission-reduction targets. In this article, researchers from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and PricewaterhouseCoopers, test the viability of this strategy by examining trends in Europe’s electricity sector. They find that changes are occurring in the political, policy, and regulatory landscape in Europe, as well as North Africa, that are consistent with a continued and accelerated deployment of renewable power in the region. This supports the proposition, they write, that a technology push could be sufficiently substantial and sustained to make some renewables economically competitive with fossil fuels, perhaps by the end of this decade, or the beginning of next. And if this occurs, renewables could potentially become attractive and viable globally, even in the poorest of countries, and even in the absence of a global treaty. (source & copyright © Marion Davis, SEI)

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