October 22, 2017

Debunking renewable energy myths

Climate change is advancing and hence, it has become one of the largest challenges for global social and ecological justice. Climate change is triggered by the so-called greenhouse gases which lead to rising global temperatures. The Paris Agreement from 2015 pledges the international community to limit global warming to maximum 2 degrees Celsius, or better to 1.5 degrees Celsius. So far, the commitments submitted by governments to reduce the emissions of green-house gases are far below this Paris target. In order to reach a successful limitation of temperatures rising, the systems of energy generation need to be changed immediately and globally. The burning of fossil energy sources contributes the largest part to global warming, although there are already alternatives available.

A complete shift to renewable energy is no abstract futurist dream any longer. During the UN climate negotiations in Marrakesh in November 2016, 48 countries, which are most vulnerable to climate change and which have not contributed to the historical reasons of climate change, have declared that they will change their local energy production to reach a 100 % coverage by renewable energy and to reach a complete stop of fossil-based energy production. Available economic and scientific data confirms the possibility of this scenario.

The authors of this brochure determinedly state: «The question is therefore not whether, but how and when we will achieve a future based on renewable energy.» Unfortunately, even these days renewables are still skeptically looked at. Arguments that are often brought forward are that renewables are «unstable, too expensive, they would destroy jobs or even harm the environment.» Often these concerns are based on old and outdated assumptions, but they are keeping up persistently. Our brochure shows, that these arguments can be debunked as myths and misunderstandings. We wish to encourage interested readers to think about renewables and to  motivate civil society activists and politicians to review their way of thinking in the field of energy politics. Furthermore, the brochure aims at presenting an argumentation aid that shows: «By the way, it actually works.»

The creation of this brochure was supervised by the Hanoi office of Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung in cooperation with the Desk on Global Issues and Special Funds of the Center for International Dialogue and Cooperation of Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung. The German version of the brochure is also available as print version.

Nadja Charaby, Advisor on Global Issues and Special Funds

You can find full version of the brochure here: Part 1; Part 2.

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