I'm a Goan woman, working in Mumbai as the founder of a studio called Totem Creative. I try to make the world happier, safer and more meaningful. I believe education, knowledge and awareness, art, writing and creating Social Impact are my means to achieve that end.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Renewable Energy Law 2010

The Renewable Energy Law 2010

The lie our government hides behind.

Everytime Greenpeace tells the government that it has to act on climate change, we are told “but the poor too need a chance to develop! And in any case, our per capita CO2 emissions are lower than the developed world’s, so stop freaking out!”

What they conveniently neglect to mention is that a relatively small, wealthy class (1% of our population) already produces twice the sustainable global average CO2 emissions of 2.5 tonnes per capita!

Meanwhile, the remaining 823 million poor people in this country produce just one-fifth the amount of CO2 that the richest 1% produce.

Now, if these 823 million people started using energy like the top 1% Indians do – as is likely to happen if we really do manage to eradicate poverty – then our per capita emissions would compete with, if not exceed, the highest in the world.

Now, if we allow the richest 1% Indians to gobble up the carbon space, the poor will have their right to develop stolen from them, just as the developed world (having gobbled up all the carbon space itself) now wants India to not develop at the same rate.

India, essentially, is indulging in precisely the same "climate injustice" that we accuse the developed world of. The “low per capita emissions” argument is a lie. And our Prime Minister knows it.

A Renewable Energy Law by 2010.

India cannot keep hiding behind the poor and claim any special privileges. India cannot continue to be a rogue state in the global community of nations that are fighting a pitched battle against climate change.

In our own interest, we must move away from a fossil-fuel based economy to a sustainable one. In doing so, we would need support and funding from the developed world because of their historical responsibility in bringing about climate change.

But we can't wait for others to move first, because the stakes are too high. We must have a Renewable Energy Law by 2010. And you can bring about that change.

What would this Renewable Energy Law do?

[A] It will shift our energy pathway to cleaner, more sustainable one through an ambitious Renewable Energy policy.

[B] It will ensure that 60% our energy needs are met by renewable sources by the year 2050.

[C] Through a decentralized energy generation system, it will enable all of us to produce our own energy, and ensure that every village and city in India achieves complete "Energy Swaraj."

Dr. Singh needs to take a stand at Copenhagen

The UN climate summit at Copenhagen in December may be our last chance to avoid runaway climate change. At this summit, India needs to do several things. We need to commit to action that would reduce our carbon emissions in a measurable and verifiable manner. We need to ensure that there is an ambitious deal that gives our people a fighting chance to protect ourselves from a climate catastrophe. And we need need to define our national climate action and (with additional support from the developed world) invest ambitiously in sustainable technologies and their diffusion in the market.

Globally Greenpeace is pushing for some big, visionary measures to turn around the global trend towards runaway climate change. Our blueprint needs political will to make it happen and the opportunity is at the Copenhagen summit in December. Responding to this opportunity is something Prime Minister Manmohan Singh owes not just to our reputation of innovation, but also to future generations of Indians.

Why India needs a Renewable Energy Law.

India needs an RE Law because this is the biggest business opportunity of the century and, if a strong policy is put in place quickly, we could become world leaders in the Renewable Energy sector. Despite being one of the first countries to set up a separate ministry for renewable energy, India hasn't shown a will or vision to be the leaders in this sector.

India’s best selling point in key international markets is our ability to innovate. The biggest risk to this is the perception internationally that we're not taking climate change seriously.

Unfortunately, since we aren’t making advances in clean energy, our reputation is slipping. Our record on CO2 emissions is shocking. We are among some of the worst emitters per person in the developing world, and our emissions are rising faster than those in the developed world. All this can be turned around if our government starts looking at climate change as an opportunity to profit from rather than merely a challenge to be confronted.

60 per cent by 2050! But how?

India has the ability and resources to become a 'low carbon' economy. All that's missing is political will. 60 per cent by 2050 is an ambitious target, but it is not a figure pulled out of a hat. The science dictates that this is what's required. Only a 60 per cent target for renewable energy will stop us reaching the 'tipping point' of catastrophic climate change.

There are many ways of reaching that target. To begin with, we can reduce the wastage of energy we already generate – by building more energy-efficient buildings and making it mandatory for electronic products to meet the highest efficiency standards. Just phasing out the ordinary incandescent light-bulb will save 12,000 MW of energy capacity, the equivalent of 3 mega coal power plants!

But more crucially, we can ensure that the energy we generate from now on comes from clean and renewable sources – such as the sun and wind – instead of highly damaging fossil fuels like coal. All of which will also give India lower energy bills – at home, at work, and on the road.

Logon to http://www.greenidol.in/ to sign the petition.

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