FoE International Report: An Energy Revolution Is Possible

From Chain Reaction #126, April 2016, national magazine of Friends of the Earth, Australia

A report by Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), launched a week before the UN climate summit in Paris, estimates that it would take US$5,148 billion of extra investment to generate half the world’s electricity with 100% renewables by 2030. No small amount, but to put it in perspective, FoEI points out that this is an investment equal to the wealth currently held by 0.00001% of the global population, or 782 people.

This means that the personal fortunes of the 782 wealthiest people on the planet – many of them CEOs of major corporations – could power Africa, Latin America and most of Asia with 100% renewable energy by 2030. The wealth of the richest 53 people globally could power the whole of Africa with 100% renewable energy by 2030, and the wealth of the richest 32 people could power most of Latin America with 100% renewable energy by 2030.

The comparisons with individual wealth are used as a stark reminder that the finances needed to halt dangerous climate change is certainly available. The report does not suggest that the wealth of these individuals can or should be directly used to drive the needed energy transformation.

The report details the mix of renewable energy sources most appropriate for each region and discusses rleevant technical issues regarding capacity factors, storage technologies and so on. But just as importantly, it argues that the energy revolution is necessarily a social revolution as well.

"Business as usual is no longer an option. Carbon emissions continue to rise. We need an energy revolution," said Dipti Bhatnagar, FoEI Climate Justice and Energy coordinator. "The energy transformation involves not just switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy, but also a deeper transformation including democratic ownership of renewable energy resources," she said.

Friends of the Earth International, November 2015, 'An Energy Revolution Is Possible'


Full report: