Global Wind Day urges G8 leaders to stop subsidising fossil fuels
Global Wind Day, celebrated annually on 15 June, enables citizens to discover wind energy across the world. This year an online action has been launched to put pressure on world leaders, ahead of the G8 summit on 17-18 June to keep their commitment to phase out fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy. The level of subsidies to fossil fuels has gone up by nearly 30% to $620 billion since 2010 and today fossil fuels receive six times more subsidies than renewable energy. Meanwhile atmospheric global carbon dioxide levels have reached a record high of 400 ppm seriously hindering efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control.
"While world leaders pay lip service to combating climate change, what they are actually doing is subsidizing CO2 emissions to the tune of US$110/tonne. Fossil fuel energy subsidy reform could take us a long way towards protecting the climate", said Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council.
Wind energy has become a mainstream technology: it is already cheaper in Australia and Brazil than conventional energy sources and directly competes with them in an expanding number of markets including Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and parts of China and the US. Wind power is turning into the power technology of choice as utilities, energy planners and governments seek to diversify their energy mix, reduce CO2 emissions and air pollution, protect their economies from volatile fossil fuel prices and benefit from increased investment and job creation. With the right policy support wind could reach 1, 000 GW by 2020 avoiding over 9 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
Opinion polls and surveys across the markets show overwhelming public support for wind power providing an important signal to decision-makers: According to a Eurobarometer survey 89% of EU citizens are in favour of wind energy, compared to 43% for coal and 36% for nuclear. In 2012 a survey conducted in the US showed that 71% of Americans want to see more wind power development and in Canada a research poll found that 78% of Ontarians say that wind is one of the safest forms of electricity generation. In a recent survey in the UK, two-thirds of the Britons voted in favour of wind energy.
Global Wind Day provides the opportunity to learn about wind power and its ability to provide a solution to the most pressing global energy challenge. Saturday 15 June marks the fifth edition of Global Wind Day celebrated at hundreds of activities and events around the world. This year via Facebook, Twitter and email people can tell G8 leaders to stop subsidising fossil fuels and switch to renewables instead.
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