Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Renewable energy ideas can fight global warming

ABU DHABI — Nobel laureate Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Chairman of Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has asked the oil-producing countries to develop research and renewable energy concepts to take on the emerging threat of global warming.

Global warming will possibly yield 30-50 per cent redemption in agriculture by 2020 in various countries, stressed Dr Pachauri in the lecture on "Climate Change and its Implications on Energy Policies of Oil Producing Countries" at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research here.

The lecture focused on the lurking threat of climate change and the most affected by these changes would be the low-lying countries which might inundate in the coming years as the sea level has already risen up by three meters due to melting of ice on North and South poles.

Around 20-30 per cent of species are likely to be at risk of extinction if the global warming exceeds from worrying point of 1.5-2.5 degrees Celsius, Dr. Pachauri said.

According to him, by 2020 in Asia around 120 million to 1.2 billion people are expected to be exposed to water stress, 12 to 81 million people in Latin America and 75 to 250 million people in African countries.

This will possibly yield redemption in agriculture up to 30 per cent by 2050 in Central Asia and South Africa, 30 per cent by 2080 in Latin America and 50 per cent by 2020 in some African countries as well, Dr Pachauri explained.

"So, we need to invest on infrastructures and technologies that could fight climate change as the urban activities merely generate 80 per cent carbon dioxide. Everybody can contribute on a personal level to reducing the threat of global warming," he said.

On the contribution of common man to reduction of the global warming, he said, "One should reduce the level of air-conditioning in order to not cover themselves in blankets; in cities, public transport services must be enhanced; switch off unnecessary lights to reduce the consumption of energy and reduce the use of private vehicles. Many things like these can be done by people on personal level."

According to him, around 1.6 billion people have been living in darkness across the world and don't have access to electricity. Every country and every person has to play a role to halve global emissions, he added.

The oil-producing countries are needed to develop renewable energy mechanism. They also need to make sure that research and technology are in place to develop new techniques to fight global warming and climate change, Dr Pachauri stated. He appreciated Masdar for its renewable energy concepts and said, "Masdar is performing well in this field. We need actions similar to Masdar. The UAE is able to create solutions to go beyond petroleum. Once petroleum reserves are finished you need other forms of energy. They have to start investing in them. Like Masdar, you need to develop renewable energy solutions."

This region has to look at the benefits of investing in new solutions because in the future the oil is not going to be lingering on forever. So you have to create solutions beyond that. I hope people will do that, he hoped.

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