Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Inter Academy Council Report on Energy: Lighting the Way


Many counteries have there own academy of science such as 'The Royal Academy of Science' in the UK and the 'National Academy of Science' in the US. These national groups are also grouped together in a an international council. This so called 'InterAcademy Council' recently produced a report on the policies required for moving towards a more sustainable energy future. Interestingly the report was requested by the Brazillian and Chineese govornments. Good to see they are taking an interest, and engaging internationally with research institutions, Ban Ki Moon and his Office where apparently also very supportive.

Lighting the Way can be downloaded from here.

As usuall energy efficiency is highlighted as the key cheap gain:
"A combination of local, national and international fiscal and regulatory pollicies can greatly accelerate the spread of existing energy efficiencies, which remain the most readily implementable part of the solution"
The case for clean development as the best economic option for developing nations is also made:

"It is in the best economic and societal interests of developing countries to 'leapfrog' pas the waseful energy trajectory followed by today's industrialised countries"

This is futher clarified when looking at Macro scale economics of a society, even excluding climate change there are significant indirect and sizable benefits to clean rather than fossil energy. Sewage is used as an analogy:
"The discharge of raw sewage into a river will always be the leass expensive option on a Micro-economic level than the treatment of waste, especially for up stream polluters. At a macro scale however, where the long term costs to himan health, qaulity of life, and the envitonment are folded into the calculation, treatment of sewage clearly becomes the low-cost option for society."
In the world at present we are treating the atmosphere as a huge open sewer for our carbon dioxide waste.

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