by George Garland, Director, The Energy Project
Mark Kember, CEO Of The Climate Group (http://theclimategroup.org) introduced Climate Week and a prestigious panel including Mayor Bloomberg, Tony Blair, and UN Environmental Program Executive Director Achim Steiner with the admonition that we will have more than 9 billion people by 2050 with a middle class of 5 billion, up from 2 billion now. Mr. Kember called for a Clean Revolution–a massive scaling up of clean enegy, clean technology and energy efficiency–as the only viable, sensible way to halt dangerous climate change and secure strong economic growth. Climate Week offers over 7 events per day on average to bring this message to the world’s leaders, gathered in New York for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. This message was reinforced in the US Energy Information Agency’s International Energy Outlook http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/ieo/ which projects that global energy use will rise by 53% by 2035.
Mayor Bloomberg cited New York City’s success with PlanNYC in reducing carbon footprint including reducing methane emissions from wastewater treatment plants by 15% in the last year. Achin Steiner noted his pleasure riding the extensive Big Apple bike paths. Tony Blair urged cooperative efforts among government, private sector, and civil society. A panel of corporate leaders noted the need for government to provide the right policy environment to stimulate investment sustainability.
My takeaway for the US is that tax and give back legislation of Senators Maria Cantwell and Susan Collins is more important than ever to stimulate investment in businesses and create lots of jobs to make the energy efficiency improvements identified in Mc Kinsey’s report, Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the US Economy. http://ow.ly/6AIQV
Drill baby drill? The biggest source of more energy for the US is implementing energy efficiency and this source actually cuts pollution!