Leaders of 147 nations have gathered in Paris this week to reach a deal to reduce global carbon emissions and to limit global warming to 2 degrees C. Hosted by the UN, this is the 21st annual meeting, so why is this particular conference set to make a difference?
Certainly, tackling climate change is a huge challenge in itself, but since the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009 a lot has changed in the face of the renewable energy landscape. Not only can transitioning to renewable energy technologies help limit global warming, but it is also a strategy for countries to adopt in order to sustain economic growth and employment – so everyone’s a winner!
What’s changed since 2009?
- The cost of Solar PV modules have fallen by 80%
- Wind turbine prices have fallen by a third
Evidently, in the last six years the cost of renewable energy technologies has plummeted considerably so you’d think that the world leaders would have no more arguments against deploying renewables to restrict increases in global temperatures, right?
Well, yes. Thankfully, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is set to launch an international solar alliance of about 120 countries with French President, François Hollande at the COP21 climate summit, which involves the use of cheap solar energy to increase energy access. France’s climate ambassador claims that this new group would be “a true game changer”, so it looks like the world leaders are moving in a positive direction to tackle climate change.
With the cost of renewables continuing to tumble and the cost of producing nuclear and fossil fuels on the increase, COP21 has the power to encourage the negotiation of deals to cut emissions until 2030 and therefore speed up the transition to renewable technologies. Hurrah!
photo credit: Windfarm in Wolcott, Indiana via photopin (license)