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Climate security is energy security


11 Jul 2006, Geneva, Switzerland – The link between climate security and energy security cannot be underplayed, according to WWF. A new briefing from the global conservation organization shows how investing in a secure climate future will also bring benefits to a more secure energy system.

The briefing, No energy security without climate security, says that G8 nations can best contribute to increased energy and climate security by promoting, investing in, and regulating energy efficiency measures and renewable energy. This will limit the damage to the climate and reduce reliance on long, unsafe links to fossil fuel supplies in a cost-effective way.

“The concept of energy security is meaningless unless it is seen in the wider context of climate security, where the over-riding threat is climate change caused primarily by fossil fuel use,” says Jennifer Morgan, Director of WWF’s Global Climate Change Programme.

“The G8 has an enormous responsibility to steer the world away from climate change and energy insecurity, towards a safe and secure future with a stable climate. They can’t push their responsibility from one G8 Summit to the next. They have to come up with answers and decisions now.”

Governments should embark on a serious global “climate and energy security plan” similar in dimension to the Marshall plan after the Second World War. The plan would aim at dramatically improving energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources to insure global emissions of CO2 and other climate pollutants peak and decline in the next ten to fifteen years.

WWF’s briefing calls on G8 countries to make such a plan possible by switching current subsidies to conventional fuels, currently running at US$250 billion a year, to funding a highly ambitious efficiency and renewables initiative.

To avoid dangerous climate change, the consensus is to keep global average temperature below 2°C (3.4°F) above pre-industrial times. Currently the world is already at 0.7°C above that reference. Emissions are growing at a staggering pace: they were at 25 billion tons CO2 in 2003 and could grow to 33.6 billion tons in 2015 if nothing happens (Source: US Energy Information Administration).

The last G8 Summit held at Gleneagles in the United Kingdom put climate change firmly on the G8 agenda, with leaders committing to a series of actions and a continuing dialogue.

“The G8’s topic of energy security at this year’s summit has the potential to either build on the continuing Gleneagles Dialogue or to distract from it,” adds Morgan.

“A narrow discussion on the security of energy supply will not see G8 offering leadership on the issues of providing energy safely with a secure climate in the long-term.”

This year’s G8 Summit will be held from 15–17 July in St Petersburg, Russia.


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