Thursday, December 4, 2014

Phasing Out Coal

The European Union has been upstaged in recent weeks by the US/China agreement, but it is beginning to reclaim the limelight.  The leading player is Germany; this week the COP welcomed the news from Germany that they are reducing coal emissions, and that the German energy supplier, E. ON, is switching to a focus on renewables.

Meanwhile, the call from the Developing Nations and environmental groups is for 100% renewable energies by 2050, making moving away from fossil fuels, especially coal, a priority. On the first day of the COP, Christiana Figueres warned that there are risks associated with continued investment in oil and fossil fuels.  Investors are beginning to pay attention, and are worried about an economic crash as fossil fuel companies lose value.  Once again, it seems to be a question of risk: are the risks of economic hardship greater than the risks associated with continuing climate change? 

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