UK: Huge Increase in Renewable Energy Needed to Avoid “Disaster”

by | Jul 24, 2014 | News

05A new report on climate change from the United nations is expected to highlight the need to invest in renewable energy. Due for release this Sunday at a UN conference in Berlin, the report is believed to call for a trebling of renewable energy usage.

According to scientists, the planet’s temperature could increase by as much as two degrees Celsius if serious action isn’t taken to combat climate change. Scientists are recommending that homeowners and businesses switch from carbon-intensive oil to alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power.

UN scientists will also recommend a shift to natural gas, albeit with some conditions, due to its significantly lower carbon output than oil and coal. According to the latest report, a two-degree rise in global temperatures could have serious consequences for the world and be “highly dangerous.”

The UN has encouraged governments to back renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind energy. The UK recently passed the Renewable Heat Incentive – a programme aimed at homeowners that reduces the cost of switching from fossil fuels such as oil to more energy efficient methods of heating.

The programme is one of the first in the world of its type, and an estimated 18,000 UK homeowners have already qualified for financial assistance to lower the cost of switching to renewable heat sources. Other European countries are believed to be working on their own programmes to lower the cost of renewable energy.

However, many developing countries have objected to the push for a focus on clean energy. They argue that the costs of changing to renewable energy sources are too high. Much of the UN report is critical of the increase in coal consumption by large economies such as India and China.

The report is the third to be released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The panel has previously released two reports, the first of which argued that human industrial activity was the leading cause of climate change. In another report, the panel illustrated the effects of global warming on humanity.

The IPCC believes that the effects of global warming will be “irreversible” and that immediate action is required in order to reduce carbon output. As part of a global plan to reduce carbon output, the IPCC recommends that countries triple their commitment to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.

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