Talking Cities is a popular podcast hosted by Matt Enstice, which investigates cutting-edge innovations for cities in America and beyond and accesses the leaders creating, shaping and improving the cities we call home. In this episode, EUROSOLAR president Peter Droege talks about renewable energy, low carbon versus carbon neutrality and the dirty truth about fossil fuels. Enjoy the episode by clicking the link below!

> Talking Cities podcast with Peter Droege

Last week the Heads of State and Governments of the 20 economically strongest industrialized and threshold countries met in Hamburg. The hosting German government has put the topics of Energy and Climate on the agenda.

But in 2017 it would have taken far more than good intentions and political speeches at a summer-meeting that is not constituted democratically and has no real legitimacy under international law. WCRE demanded that the participants take concrete steps towards the rapid conversion of the energy industry to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. This expansion is urgently necessary. And it is also possible: this is demonstrated by the progress even in the face of political restrictions: The share of renewables in power generation grew by 70 percent in the G20 countries from 2011 to 2016; in the UK 300%. Germany was able to increase its share by 360 percent – a growth rate that the conservative government now wants to stop.

A solar car developed by two Gazan mechanical engineering students, Jamal Mikaty and Khaled Bardawil in response to the electricity crises.

The European Union and Germany must lead in calling for an end to the new and cruel restriction on electricity  in Gaza. On the face of it it results from a power struggle between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas - in reality this is the logical outcome of the long occupation and decade-long blockade, supported by the US and, in part, the EU.

Europe and the world now must embrace the immediate and radical exit from coal, petroleum, natural gas and uranium.

The new EPA director and sworn enemy of the environment Scott Pruitt even denies that he is a climate change denier. He is ideologically and politically opposed to the comprehensive shift to renewable energy - and has seized power in all matters climate change policy. Not only is he hell-bent on demolishing the most important achievements of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, he has reinforced Donald Trump in his decision that the best revenge for the 'European humiliation' - the meetings with NATO, Pope, Merkel, Macron and others - is the theatrical exit from the Paris Climate Accord. The Accord is weak - but now its weakness has become terrifyingly obvious: the Accord will not save us, and working with Trump only accelerates the cynical spiral into the climate abyss.

Europe and the world community now have also politically and existentially no other choice but the immediate and comprehensive entry into the Solar Age: to compensate for the temporary national policy lapse of the US, to build resilience, regional prosperity and resource autonomy, to save the costs for subsidising and importing petroleum, natural gas, coal and uranium, and provide important impulses in technological and industrial innovations and market positions.

Statement by EUROSOLAR President Professor Peter Droege on the Paris-exit by the United States
Bonn, 6 June 2017

EVEN IF DONALD TRUMP DOES NOT YET ‚BELIEVE IN’ CLIMATE CHANGE – there are millions of reasons for the fundamental transformation of the world’s energy systems to renewable resources.

Millions of lives have been sacrificed on the altar of fossil fuels – and many million more are doomed if we will not make the switch to renewable energy world-wide. To work for peace means finally leaving the 20th century behind, a century of war and an age of conflict exacerbated by fatal energy systems. It is in our common interest to lay down arms and join in the struggle against our own inherited energy and resource dependencies.

State of The Transition, August 2016: Tailwinds for clean energy and the Paris agreement, deepening doldrums for the incumbency

It was vaguely wonderful watching Presidents Obama and Xi cement their bids for a place in history, via climate change, by announcing American and Chinese ratification of the Paris Agreement on 3rd September 2016. These two nations, so far apart on so many issues, have erected glass walls around the shared climate threat and worked hard together for four years to fight it. They do so now buoyed by the strengthening momentum of climate-survival technologies, and aware of the increasing catalogue of problems faced by the energy incumbency notwithstanding climate considerations. Meanwhile, the increasingly alarming warnings they hear about the unfolding pace of global overheating from their respective scientific establishments is undoubtedly a major motivator. The great global race against time has very much begun now, and they are the undisputed leaders on the first lap.

Many businesses need no further persuasion of the writing on the wall. Six hundred multinational companies are now factoring the Paris Agreement into their business plans, according to CDP. Unsurprisingly, utilities and other energy companies lead, but adopters span many sectors. Sign-ups to the corporate 100% renewable power campaign this month include Apple.

In 2016, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a major opportunity to develop a new industry, an opportunity that became something of an imperative in 2015. Let me examine first the opportunity, then the imperative. The opportunity involves solar energy, which is fast heading towards becoming the cheapest unsubsidised form of energy on the planet. Last year, solar power plants cheaper than gas plants were built in Dubai and Colorado. A Saudi company, ACWA Power, built the one in Dubai. We can expect to see more such plants around the world in 2016, and many more beyond.

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