Can Renewable Energy Meet the Urgent Challenge of Climate Change?

Tue, 06 May 2008 20:30:00 GMT

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing on the critical role renewable energy electricity generation technologies can play in reducing US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The climate challenge is urgent, with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) finding that global GHG emissions need to peak and begin declining before 2015 if we are to avoid the most damaging effects of climate change.

Renewable energy can play a key role in meeting the challenge of climate change because it can respond to the short time frame needed to address climate mitigation, the United States has a large and widespread renewable energy resource base, and renewable energy is not subject to price volatility such as seen with natural gas. What has not been ever explored is what renewable energy can do if given a full-out effort by the United States. Other countries, in addressing the urgency of climate change, have made renewable energy a fundamental component of their climate strategies. As a result of these all-out efforts, we have seen explosive growth in jobs and renewable energy technology deployment in many countries, including Germany, Japan, Denmark and Spain.

The briefing will discuss key federal policies needed to allow renewable energies to achieve their full potential in climate change mitigation in the near and long-term. It features several renewable energy industry associations as well as a respondent from the public interest community:

  • Randy Swisher, Executive Director, American Wind Energy Association
  • Karl Gawell, Executive Director, Geothermal Energy Association
  • Jeff Leahey, Senior Manager of Government and Legal Affairs, National Hydropower Association
  • John Stanton, Executive Vice President, Solar Energy Industries Association
Respondent:
  • John Coequyt, Senior Washington Representative, Global Warming and Energy Program, Sierra Club

According to the Congressional Research Service, more than 280 bills on energy efficiency and renewable energy have been introduced in the 110th Congress. At least seven economy-wide cap-and-trade proposals have been put forward in the same time frame. Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said that the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2007 (S. 2191) will be given Senate floor time on June 2. All three major Presidential candidates support mandatory national climate legislation. While putting a price on carbon through “cap-and-trade” or carbon tax legislation will help address GHG emissions, complementary policies to spur additional renewable energy and energy efficiency development will be needed to address the climate and energy challenges facing the United States.

This briefing is free and open to the public. No RSVP required. Please forward this notice. For more information, contact Fred Beck at fbeck@eesi.org or 202-662-1892.

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