TUESDAY 02 DECEMBER, 2008 |
UN Climate Chief Advocates Solar, Warns On Coal
The two-week United Nations Climate Change Conference talks began yesterday in
Poznan Poland; a fitting country to hold such talks given Poland's reliance on
coal. Poland is said to be the second most coal-dependent country in the world, producing
93 percent of its electricity from coal reserves according to figures from the
World Coal Institute.
Due to its coal addiction, Poland generates nearly double the EU carbon dioxide
emissions, the most common greenhouses gas contributing to global warming;
however the country has been making serious attempts in recent years to reduce
its coal related pollution.
Close to eleven thousand participants, including government delegates from 186
countries, academics, environmental groups and business leaders are attending
, part of the negotiations on an international response to climate
change post-Kyoto which is due to be finalised in Copenhagen at the end of 2009;
taking effect in 2013.
In 2007, Parties agreed to consider a greenhouse gas emission reduction target of
25 - 40% less than 1990 levels, a range which could be confirmed at Poznan.
Representatives from Australia are attending the conference, with Climate Change
Minister Penny Wong will leading the delegation. Far from being the darling of
the last climate talks in Bali when Australia committed to ratifying Kyoto, the
Federal Government has reneged
on its commitment
to present the Poznan meeting with Australia's 2020
emissions reduction target.
On the opening day of the talks, the U.N.'s climate chief Yvo de Boer expressed
of a secondary financial crisis if world governments continue to
invest in the construction of high-polluting coal fired electricity generation
facilities, which would ultimately need to be decommissioned as the effects of
climate change are increasingly felt.
Mr de Boer referred to "bad energy loans" and "cheap and
dirty" solutions that could lead to a need to build new low-carbon solar
plants or wind
farms within the next couple of decades.
De Boer believes the current financial crisis is actually an opportunity for
redesigning the world's economy around green growth and renewable
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