Denis McShane – former Europe Minister: Trump’s envoys to Bonn may have been the most visible sceptics in attendance, but their presence alone does not entirely explain why policymakers the world over aren’t rushing to create fully “renewable” energy grids. The British and Canadian “Powering Past Coal” alliance unveiled at the end of the COP23 is seen as a rebuke to Trump – but China, India, Germany, and Russia, which are heavily reliant on fossil fuels, are also conspicuously absent. It’s unlikely any of those countries will sign up soon. The global economy, for the most part, still relies on the traditional fuels that make up 80% of the global energy mix. Even where green energy plays a prominent role, campaigners can’t agree on what “green” means.Jean-Luc Mélenchon may want France to abandon nuclear power entirely, but his countrymen will never follow Germany down that road. The Swedes voted in a 1980 referendum to close all nuclear stations; they still rely on 10 nuclear reactors for more than 40 per cent of all energy, and decided just last year to allow for more. To preserve the global drive towards reduced emissions reductions, the two sides need to find some middle ground. One way to square this circle would be to invest seriously in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, for which the EU allocated €1 billion in 2009 but of which no demonstration projects currently exist in the EU member states. Despite mistrust from environmental groups, CCS technologies are seen as indispensible for reaching the 2050 climate targets set by the Paris agreement. The Treasury Department recently changed the rules governing the financing of fossil fuel projects in developing countries, calling on the World Bank to follow suit.
Huffington Post 1st Dec 2017 read more »