Climate change may be one of the most divisive issues in the U.S. Congress today, but despite the staunch denialism of Republicans, experts say the global transition from fossil fuels to renewables is already well underway.
It began with an experiment to install photovoltaic cells over an irrigation canal that forms part of the Sardar Sarovar canal network – a massive hydel power project across the River Narmada that irrigates some 1.8 million hectares of arable land in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
The road towards a green economy is paved with both reward and risk, and policymakers must seek to balance these out if the transition to low-carbon energy sources is to succeed on the required scale, climate experts say.
In November, the world's top climate scientists issued their latest warning that the climate crisis is rapidly worsening on a number of fronts, and that we must stop our climate-polluting way of producing energy if we are to stand a chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.
“People have gathered here to tell their politicians that the way in which we used energy and our environment in the 19th
centuries is now over,” says Radek Gawlik, one of Poland’s most experienced environmental activists. “The time for burning coal has passed and the sooner we understand this, the better it is for us.”
With the first solar thermal power plant in Latin America, Chile hopes to begin to alleviate its energy crisis, which threatens to further drive up the high cost of electricity and to hinder the growth of investment, especially in the mining industry.
Germany has now become the world’s first modern renewable energy economy, according to the experts. The Federal Republic of Germany already obtains 29 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, meaning photovoltaic, hydro and wind power, and power produced by burning wood or other biomass.