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IPCC Report is Good News for South West Jobs, Say Greens

South West Green Party has responded enthusiastically to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body responsible for climate change policy. They are calling on UK politicians at all levels to endorse the call for a rapid transition to a renewable energy future.

The IPCC says that clean energy will have to increase threefold by 2050 if the earth is to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, with an emphasis on wind and solar power. [1] Like the Greens, the IPCC is sceptical about the contribution that can be made to decarbonising our electricity supply by nuclear, which it considers to be too costly. Its authors also question the wisdom of relying on technologies that do not currently exist, such as Carbon Capture and Storage.

The proposals in the IPCC report chime with those of a South West Green Party report, South West: Energy Region [2], that was recently presented to Bristol Mayor George Ferguson. The report draws attention to the widespread employment opportunities offered by renewable energy in the South West but claims that mixed messages from national government are undermining the economic opportunities offered by this sector. The South West is already a national leader in renewable electricity generation but this could be expanding more rapidly.

Dr Molly Scott Cato, lead Green Party European candidate in the South West, said:

"The latest report from the IPCC has some really good news for us here in the South West. The scientists are arguing that we need to expand our renewable energy generation and the South West already has considerable expertise in this area, in marine power as well as wind and solar. We could be looking at thousands of new jobs producing clean, safe electricity and helping to solve the urgent problem of climate change. It really is a win-win and all that is holding us back is a lack of imagination on the part of our dinosaur politicians. "

The Greens' report draws inspiration from the impressive speed of the energy transition in Germany, where the government has completely abandoned nuclear and set itself the ambitious goal of doubling the renewable electricity generation to 35% by 2020 and achieving 80% renewable electricity generation by 2050.

Dr Scott Cato concluded:

"The rapid transition in Germany is being achieved as a result of public and community ownership of renewables, including a fivefold increase in the number of renewable energy co-operatives between 2007 (101) and 2011 (586) [3]. We want to see the UK government supporting such ‘power to the people’ in the form of a long-term, high-rate feed-in tariff for all renewables, but with a higher rate for community-owned installations."

Notes

[1] Guardian: UN urges huge increase in green energy to avert climate disaster: http://bit.ly/Q1RBeX

[2] The South West: Energy Region: http://bit.ly/RhKcJc An appeal for political commitment to ensure both economic and environmental benefit by Molly Scott Cato, Finance Speaker for the Green Party and Councillor Gus Hoyt, Deputy Mayor for the Environment, Bristol City Council

[3] The German Energiewende (Energy transition) website: http://energytransition.de/2012/10/key-findings/   

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