Governments need to act in Rio for a sustainable energy future
Friday 15 June is Global Wind Day, when thousands will experience the power of wind energy at more than 200 events in at least 40 countries around the world. Global Wind Day is building pressure on world leaders gathering next week for the Rio +20 Summit to commit to doubling the share of renewable energy by 2030.
Today commercial wind power is deployed in more than 75 countries around the world, with 21 countries having more than 1000 MW installed. The current 250 GW+ of installed capacity is more than 30 times what was deployed just 15 years ago, when the Kyoto protocol was signed in 1997.
Industry projections show that wind power will, with the right policy support, double in capacity by 2015, and again by the end of this decade, delivering 9 - 12 % of global electricity supply. This will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 1.5 billion tons per annum, save billions of litres of precious fresh water, and contribute to energy security and price stability in countries around the world; but for wind power and other renewables to reach their full potential, governments need to act.
When world leaders gather in Rio next week, they will have an opportunity to set a new course towards a more sustainable energy future. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Sustainable Energy for All initiative calls for universal energy access, a doubling of energy efficiency and a doubling of renewable energy by 2030.
Wind energy is one of the cleanest, most environmentally-friendly and cost competitive energy sources. It is fast to deploy and consumes no fresh water to generate electricity.
According to the IEA, in 2012, $630 billion will be spent on fossil fuel subsidies globally. If these were even partially redirected we could achieve these goals, create millions of jobs, help clean our air and address the crisis of global climate change.
Today marks the fourth edition of the Global Wind Day celebrated annually on 15 June. Global Wind Day is a day for discovering the power of wind energy; it gives people the opportunity to learn about the technology and its benefits. Last year more than 230 events were organised in 40 countries, including wind farm visits, open air concerts and public debates. In 2012 Global Wind day includes for the first time events in Mexico, Chile, Israel, South Korea and South Africa.
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