G8 leaders urged to take action for Global Wind Day

Renewable energy activists have called on world leaders to commit to phasing out fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy, ahead of the G8 summit on June 17-18.

In order to mark Global Wind Day, which takes place tomorrow, an online campaign has been launched, allowing supporters to pressure G8 leaders via Facebook and Twitter.

Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council Steve Sawyer said: “While world leaders pay lip service to combating climate change, what they are actually doing is subsidizing CO2 emissions to the tune of $110 (£70) per tonne. Fossil fuel energy subsidy reform could take us a long way towards protecting the climate.”

According to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), the level of subsidies for fossil fuels has gone up by nearly 30% to $620bn since 2010 and fossil fuels now receive six times more subsidies than renewable energy.

The EWEA claims this is worrying given the rise of atmospheric global carbon dioxide levels to a record high of 400 ppm, which it says is “seriously hindering efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control.”

The association also claims that, with the right policy support, wind could reach 1,000 GW by 2020 avoiding more than 9 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

In addition, it notes that wind energy has become a mainstream technology, already cheaper in Australia and Brazil than conventional energy sources and that it directly competes with them in an expanding number of markets including Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, parts of China and the US.

According to the EWEA, there is also strong public support for wind energy. A survey conducted in 2012 showed that 71% of Americans want to see more wind power development, while a recent survey in the UK, found that two-thirds of Britons support wind energy.

Conor McGlone

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