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Maple Yuen Page 1
Business Seminar Final Paper
There is only one earth and it isn’t going to be around much longer and the human race
may cease to exist if we keep burning and going about the way of using fossil fuels as energy.
We need to switch to renewable energy because it is an alternative energy source that can give us
a few more years on earth. It won’t completely help save the earth, as global warming has
already started and is slowly progressing, but it will slow the process of global warming down a
bit. The IPCC Report, Ren 21 Report, SPM Discussion Report and KPMG Report allows us to
analyze the benefits of renewable energy and why we should make the switch to renewable
energy soon.
Global warming is the main driver to why we should make the switch to renewable
energy. According to the IPCC Synthesis Report1 as the years pass, global warming will become
an issue and it will keep getting worse as time passes. When burning fossil fuels we are releasing
CO2 into the atmosphere that is slowly building up and damaging the ozone layer. As we
continue burning fossil fuels, CO2 will continue increasing and it will cause drastic weather
changes, famine, loss of crops/food, increasing of the water level, and countries that aren’t
developed will face problems of survival. We need to start taking actions now, whether we stop
burning fossil fuels or use renewable energy, we have to make the change now before it’s too
late. Before we make the planet a place that no one can live or survive on anymore in the future.
One reason why we should switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy is according to
the IPCC Synthesis Report, there is an increase in CO2 that is caused by “greenhouse gas
emissions increasing since the pre-industrial era… that are unprecedented in at least the last
1 Pachauri, Rajendra K., Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report, The Core Writing Team,
Geneva, 2014.
http://www.ren21.net/Portals/0/documents/Resources/GSR/2014/GSR2014_KeyFindings_low%
20res.pdf
Maple Yuen Page 2
800,000 years… the climate system are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause…(SPM
1.2 pg. 4) About half of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions between 1750-2011 have occurred in
the last 40 years. (Pg. 4)” Before humans existed, there was no such thing as greenhouse gases.
But since the industrialization of the world based on fossil fuels, we have slowly been burning
fossil fuels and as a result allowed greenhouse gases into the climate that have since accelerated
the amount of greenhouse gases in the climate. By burning fossil fuels and putting greenhouses
gases into the atmosphere, we’ve speed up the process of destroying the ozone layer and as a
result accelerated the speed of destroying the planet a little faster. According to Figure SPM.2
pg. 5, we have increased the use of greenhouse gases (GHG) from 1970 (about 27 Gt) to 2010
(49 Gt). With the increase in GHG, by 2050 the level of additional risk due to climate change
will be very high for unique & threatened systems and extreme weather events (Figure SPM.10).
To maintain the “GHG concentrations in 2100, we have to lower it to about 450 ppm CO2-eq or
lower to maintain warming below 2 degrees Celsius” (pg. 21). We need to start taking action
now to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we emit or we will have a very unpredictable life
(in weather, sea level, and survival) ahead of us. We have to think about the survival of the
human race in the future and what the results will be if we keep continuing on this path of
burning fossil fuels and releasing greenhouse gases.
Another reason why we should switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy is the
increase of the sea level. “Over the period 1992 to 2011, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets
have been losing mass likely at a larger rate… Glaciers have continued to shrink almost
worldwide… (Pg. 2) Year-round reductions in Arctic sea ice are projected for all RCP
scenarios… (Pg. 12) ... Loss of the Greenland ice sheet… an associated sea-level rise of up to
7m… and irreversible ice loss from the Antarctic ice sheet is possible… (Pg. 16)” As the years
Maple Yuen Page 3
go by, we will be facing a rise in sea level because of the deterioration of the ice sheet from
Antarctica, the Greenland and/or countries way up north. With the rise in water level there will
be less land to live on, and an extinction of animals, as well as countries that will cease to exist in
the water level rises high enough. The rise in water will cause people to move and movement
will overpopulate cities, which will lead to less food, and famine will ensue.
Not only will we have a rise in the sea level we will have unpredictable weather as a
result of global warming. “Changes in many extreme weather and climate events have been
observed since about 1950… decrease in cold temperature extremes, an increase in warm
temperature… It is very likely that the number of cold days and night has decreased and the
number of warm days and nights has increased on the global scale. It is likely that the frequency
of heat waves had increased in large parts of Europe, Asia and Australia. It is very likely that
human influence has contributed to the observed global scale changes… (Pg. 7)” Human
influence is the reason why the sea level is rising and why we have an increase/decrease in
weather around the world. Certain areas that are suppose to be cold year round and experiencing
slightly warmer temperature while areas that are hot are experiencing hotter weather. New York
is an example of unpredictable weather, we’ve had snow that seems to not stop during the winter
while this spring we have gone from days that are hot to days that are cold. We don’t know what
the weather is like the next day and we will even be more uncertain the future because of what
we have done. By burning fossil fuels we have damaged the ozone layer and as a result the sun is
more dangerous to us than ever.
With the ice sheets melting away slowly and unpredictable weather, global warming is a
serious issue and will get worse as time passes. As time passes with unpredictable weather as
well as a rise in the water level, food will become an issue. Countries that are have high income
Maple Yuen Page 4
will be able to grow food and provide for the people, but countries that have low income and
can’t provide for their people will fall into a famine and die.
The third reason why we should switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy is according
to the IPCC Synthesis Report, it is human results that have caused global warming to happen and
humans will be affected by the result of what’s happening. “Climate change will amplify existing
risks and create new risks for human systems… generally greater for disadvantaged people…”
(SPM 2.3 pg. 13) New risks will arrive for the poor, they will keep getting poorer and will be in
a worse situation than they already are, while the rich have the power to pay for anything and the
ability to be in a (slightly) better situation (despite everything that is happening). “Climate
change is expected to lead to increases in ill-health in many regions and developing countries
with low income... (Pg. 15) Rural areas are expected to experience major impacts on water,
supply, and food security… (Pg. 16)” Not only will the poor be worse off, they will also face
famine, death, and a pandemic as a result of global warming. Without a way to grow food or
have proper supplies, they will suffer die. Humans will be affected by global warming in the way
that there will be a major disadvantage for the poor and without proper care/food they will die.
To prevent famine, death, and a pandemic we need to adapt our structure of food and ecosystem
that is in place right now. “Technological options are new crop and animal varieties, water
saving technologies, conservation agriculture, food storage and prevention facilities. Ecosystem-
based options include soil conservation, mangrove conservation and replanting, green
infrastructure, controlling overfishing, assisted species migration and dispersal, seed banks, and
community based natural resources management.” (Pg. 30) We need to be able to have a plan
and be able to adapt to the changes when they happen, such as being able to feed people when
Maple Yuen Page 5
needed and have a place for the growth of food. Disadvantaged people shouldn’t be
disadvantaged; they should have an alternative option of getting food and a chance at survival.
One way to take action is for vulnerability and exposure reduction, adaption, and
transformation. According to the IPCC Synthesis Report pg. 30, we can use this to improve the
world slowly. We can improve all the categories of vulnerability and exposure reduction, by
improving access of information, having early warning signs for danger, maintaining ecosystem,
improving living conditions, poverty alleviation, security of livelihood, and have a good spatial
or land-use planning. If we can improve on the vulnerability and exposure of the disadvantaged
we can slowly improve to a better world. We adapt our structure of environment, technology,
ecosystem, and services, have more economic options, set up more laws and regulations or
improvement of national and government policies and programs. If we can adapt to these than
we can increase the lifestyle of the disadvantaged people. We transform education, informational
access, political and personal changes are needed. All these factors will help the disadvantaged
countries because if their life improves by a little and they are able to not burn fossil fuels they
can start using renewable energy. As the disadvantaged countries use fossil fuels, they may be
the changing point in containing global warming for a few more years. If they start to use
renewable energy, they are starting a small change that can work into the whole world using
renewable energy. We need to start small and work our way up to the big changes.
Current investment in renewable energy according to REN 21 Report2 shows that the
evolution of renewable energy over the past decade has surpassed all expectations. The evolution
of renewable energy is slow and may have declined (Investment Flows chart pg. 20) from 2011,
2 REN 21 Steering Committee, Renewables 2014 Global Status Report Key Findings,UNEP,France,
Milani, 2014
http://www.ren21.net/Portals/0/documents/Resources/GSR/2014/GSR2014_KeyFindings_low%
20res.pdf
Maple Yuen Page 6
where it was at its peak at $279 Billion USD, to 2012 at $250 Billion USD and 2013 at $214
Billion USD, but we can’t deny the development and expansion of renewable energy investment.
“Numerous scenarios projected levels of renewable energy for 2020 that were already surpassed
by 2010… renewable energy’s potential role in advancing national development… several co-
benefits including: reducing the health and environmental impacts… improving educational
opportunities, creating jobs, reducing poverty and increasing gender equality.” (Key findings
Pg. 5) Even though renewable energy is slow in development or in the market, we can’t deny
that it will surpass all expectations. “Renewables also contribute to climate mitigation efforts.
The IPCC clearly states in its 2014 report that climate change is already having a sweeping effect
on all continents and in every ocean… Renewable, coupled with energy efficiency measures, can
help reduce emissions by providing low-carbon energy services.” (Pg. 3) The REN 21 report is
using IPCC to prove it’s point, that fossil fuels is damaging the environment and that we need to
make the change to renewable energy before it’s too late. Climate change is affecting everything
around the world and we need to invest in renewable energy. Whether renewable energy is the
alternative solution to burning fossil fuels and endangering the environment or not, as long as we
invest in the research and in the development of renewable energy we don’t have to meet
expectations as we hoped. But if we keep working on the technology and investing in the
research of renewable energy we can have access to clean and sustainable energy for everyone in
the future.
Renewable energy is an evolving policy landscape. As renewable energy develops, there
is a need for policies and rules. “By early 2014, at least 144 countries had renewable energy
targets and 138 countries had renewable energy support policies in place… New policies are
emerging to advance or manage the integration of high shares of renewable electricity into
Maple Yuen Page 7
existing power systems…” (An Evolving Landscape pg. 6) As shown on the Policy Maps pg. 7,
the numbers of countries with renewable energy policies by type from 2010-early 2014 have
slowly increased. Power Policies from 2010 have increased slowly from about 38 countries to
about 53 countries having FIT polices. “To accomplish the goals of reducing emissions… city
and local governments have increasingly made use of their authority to regulate… facilitate and
ease the financing of renewable energy projects, and influence advocacy and information
sharing.” (Pg. 9) As renewable energy evolves, policies are needed and they will help manage
the growing market for renewable energy. As we can see from pg. 6 the top 5 countries that have
investment in renewable energy power and fuels or production, China is first followed by United
States, Japan, United Kingdom and Germany. These countries are moving forward in renewable
energy and are working on using renewable energy. With these countries looking into renewable
energy there is no denial that jobs are created in these areas of concentration.
With the renewable energy market growing, jobs are created for different sectors of
renewable energy. “The far-reaching impact of these technologies adds several co-benefits…
creating jobs, reducing poverty, and increasing gender equality.” (Key Findings pg. 5) State, city
and local government have come together and harnessed local action to ensure global renewable
energy uptake, to create jobs, reduce energy costs, address pollution issues and advance their
sustainability goals by setting up targets or fostering the idea of renewables. As seen in Jobs in
Renewable Energy (pg. 22) there are about 6.5 Million jobs in total around the world that are
provided from renewable energy market. Whether it’s from the Bioenergy, Geothermal,
Hydropower, Solar Energy or Wind Power energy, there are jobs created and areas of interest for
people. With renewable energy making it’s way into the market, jobs are being created because
countries are investing in the research of renewable energy.
Maple Yuen Page 8
Countries should look into incentives for companies to research renewable energy. The
North Carolina 2015 RTI International Report3 provides a good example of how we can use
incentives to exit fossil fuels and move into renewable energy. North Carolina’s state program of
REPS and tax credits produced economic benefit by exceeding its initial incentive and helping
the economy grow in terms of environmentally and economically. “Clean energy development
contributed $4,197.9 million in GSP and supported 44,549 annual FTEs statewide.” (Pg. 2-1)
According to table 2-1 you can see that the state incentives were low for renewable energy, the
state didn’t think that clean energy was worth the investment, but the income that clean energy
bought in has exceeded their predictions and gone far above the incentive. For example, the state
incentive for 2014 for clean energy investment in North Carolina was $80 Million, but in reality
it made a profit of $900.7 Million, a larger profit that the state didn’t think it would have yielded.
The investment has produced economic benefit and growth. The economic impact that clean
energy has done for the economy of North Carolina has made a huge difference. “Investment in
clean energy development increased substantially over the 8-year analysis period… Contributing
$4,197.9 million in GSP…” (Pg. 2-1) The expectation that the government had for the clean
energy project was probably low, but it’s surpassed their incentive by 18 times more and has
brought investment from both urban and rural countries. "This increased employment and
associated increased income, which will result in increased purchases of consumer goods and
services within the state.” (Pg. 2-9) Investment in clean energy may be slow at first, but after a
few years it will gain momentum and become better. There should be a shift to renewable energy
because it means the environment can be saved slowly from greenhouse gases. We should follow
3 RTI International, Economic and Rate Impact Analysis of Clean Energy Development in North
Carolina—2015 Update, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, 2015
http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.energync.org/resource/resmgr/Resources_Page/RTI_2015.pdf
Maple Yuen Page 9
North Carolina’s model of slowly getting to clean energy and have an incentive for clean energy.
We shouldn’t think about the money that renewable energy could save, we should think about
how it will better the environment and start getting into clean energy investments. Not only does
North Carolina’s model work by having incentives to switching to renewable energy, it also
creates employment, income, and a better environment for everyone.
The “Taxes and incentives for renewable energy,” KPMG International Report4 gives us
a report of countries that have started to look into renewable energy and how they are able to
implement it into their economy. Stopping the use of fossil fuels is going to be a hard process to
break because we’ve relied on it for a long time, but if we can start small and make the changes
at a small pace we will eventually make it to renewable energy in the future. “On the long term,
the energy industry in general and renewables in particular will see steady growth. Between now
and 2035, research and analysis suggests that: Global electricity demand will increase by over 70
percent. Overall energy demand will rise by over 30 percent. Generation from renewables will
increase to almost three times its 2010 level. The share of renewables in the generation mix will
increase to 31 percent.” (Pg. 5) This is what may happen and renewable energy will slowly adapt
into the economy and we’ll all be using renewable energy. We have to keep investing and
researching into all the alternative options of renewable energy so that we can have options for
energy and to slow the progress of damage we’ve done to the atmosphere. There has to be some
incentives for research to begin on renewable energy other than saving the planet.
To make the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy we need to have tax incentives
or other incentives for countries to make the switch. If there are tax incentives, the governments
4 Head of Global Energy and Natural Resources Tax Practice, Taxes and Incentives for
Renewable Energy, KPMG International, Swiss, 2014
http://www.kpmg.com/Global/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Documents/taxes-
incentives-renewable-energy-v1.pdf
Maple Yuen Page 10
can give companies incentives for the investment, the research and the switch from fossil fuels to
renewable energy. I think tax incentives by itself would be an effective way to exit from fossil
fuels, but we need the right incentive for each country to make the switch to renewable energy.
Every country is different; we can’t have a developed countries method of tax incentives used for
an undeveloped country because the criteria would be different. For example: South Korea’s plan
for renewable energy is “the intent to build one million homes by 2020 that use one of the
following renewable energy technologies: solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, geothermal, biomass
and wind energy. Each year, the government will set a new budget for the coming year.” (KPMG
International Report Pg. 63) South Korea’s plan probably wouldn’t work in undeveloped
countries, but it can be used as a model for almost every country.
South Korea’s incentive is passing The Act with the goal of becoming one of the five
largest producers of renewable energy, by setting a quota for how much they should reach within
a certain period, supporting facilities in renewable energy and their One Million Green Home
Project where they hope to build one million homes by 2020 that use renewable energy
technology is a model that we can/should use to exit from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The
US should also set a goal of reaching a specific level for renewable energy and either reach it or
surpass that goal. If we set a low goal and we surpass that goal, we are able to see that renewable
energy may be the future of energy. It just needs to have the right incentives for companies to
invest, research and provide renewable energy we can reach the goal we have set and maybe
even surpass the expectations. We should also do the One Million Green Home Project, by
building one million homes or less that is renewable energy friendly and uses renewable energy
we are starting by building these homes that are helping the economy and not burning fossil fuels
as energy. If we start by building apartments and homes that are renewable energy friendly we
Maple Yuen Page 11
can start working our way into a city then a state then the country. Although every state/country
is different we should start small everywhere and work our way up to a global scale.
Apart from having tax incentives we should also have other incentives for companies to
go into renewable energy such as awards, recognition, government support…etc. that would
motivate them to want to do good for themselves as well as the economy. We should have tax
incentives that exempt them from government taxes, property taxes...etc. If we lessen some taxes
that they have to pay then they may be more motivated to want to research, invest, and provide
renewable energy. Job opportunities will open because companies are putting money into
research of renewable energy and people will work to find the alternative solution to fossil fuels.
They will research and find a way for renewable energy to be profitable and to be used by
everyone globally to save/slow the emission of greenhouses gases into the planet. We will have
to combine tax incentives with other incentives and with Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards
(REPS) and feed-in-tariffs because REPS will be the regulator that monitors companies in the
renewable energy field to meet standards of production of energy and monitors that they are
providing renewable energy to a certain source. We have to make sure that companies that we
are investing in and have supported the research of renewable energy are meeting standards and
are looking into renewable energy as the alternative source to burning fossil fuels. We can’t have
companies using the money and funding to spend it on nothing when we have provided funding
for the company to do research on renewable energy. We also need feed-in-tariffs because we
don’t need to have companies providing us with renewable energy, we can provide it ourselves
and it would motive us to want to think about the economy and try to save it. If we are helping
the economy by providing renewable energy we are doing something good, and it can cause a
chain reaction that would spread to others wanting to do this feed-in-tariff. Companies don’t
Maple Yuen Page 12
have to have all the burden of providing the energy to us, if we are helping, then we are
participating in the goal of being a state/country that is going for renewable energy.
Starting from an apartment of renewable energy to homes to a town then a city then the
state and lastly the country would be the ideal route of reaching the goal of stopping fossil fuels
from burning and using renewable energy. If we start small we will get to the big picture at a
pace that we won’t even expect. We need to have an international agreement/plan for moving to
renewable energy. We need to consider every state/country that there is and the best way to go
about this plan. Starting from the undeveloped countries/poor countries to get them to stop
burning fossil fuels and into renewable energy would be ideal because they may be the changing
point. If they are able to stop burning fossil fuels and use renewable energy, we have started
somewhere and can work our way up. Everyone needs to work together to help the
undeveloped/poor countries have renewable energy so we can reach the goal of everyone using
renewable energy. We can’t start from the top and move down because we either see that it isn’t
working and give up or we will see that it is working and not stop to think about the
undeveloped/poor countries.
In conclusion, global warming is a problem and we need to realize it. We need to make
the change from burning fossil fuels to using renewable energy soon or else we won’t have much
of a planet to live on. To make the switch to renewable energy, we need to start small and move
our way into the big picture. We need to provide for the undeveloped/poor countries first with
renewable energy so they stop burning fossil fuels then we can work into the nation using
renewable energy. We also need to have the right tax incentive and plan of moving into
renewable energy. We can have one plan work for every country, but we must consider the
challenges and revision that we need to put in because not every country is the same; we’re all
Maple Yuen Page 13
different and will need different plans to reaching the goal of renewable energy. We need to
come to an international solution that will work for everyone and will satisfy them, as well as
starting from the bottom and working towards the top. We need to make the switch to renewable
energy now before it’s too late.

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Switch to Renewable Energy to Slow Global Warming

  • 1. Maple Yuen Page 1 Business Seminar Final Paper There is only one earth and it isn’t going to be around much longer and the human race may cease to exist if we keep burning and going about the way of using fossil fuels as energy. We need to switch to renewable energy because it is an alternative energy source that can give us a few more years on earth. It won’t completely help save the earth, as global warming has already started and is slowly progressing, but it will slow the process of global warming down a bit. The IPCC Report, Ren 21 Report, SPM Discussion Report and KPMG Report allows us to analyze the benefits of renewable energy and why we should make the switch to renewable energy soon. Global warming is the main driver to why we should make the switch to renewable energy. According to the IPCC Synthesis Report1 as the years pass, global warming will become an issue and it will keep getting worse as time passes. When burning fossil fuels we are releasing CO2 into the atmosphere that is slowly building up and damaging the ozone layer. As we continue burning fossil fuels, CO2 will continue increasing and it will cause drastic weather changes, famine, loss of crops/food, increasing of the water level, and countries that aren’t developed will face problems of survival. We need to start taking actions now, whether we stop burning fossil fuels or use renewable energy, we have to make the change now before it’s too late. Before we make the planet a place that no one can live or survive on anymore in the future. One reason why we should switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy is according to the IPCC Synthesis Report, there is an increase in CO2 that is caused by “greenhouse gas emissions increasing since the pre-industrial era… that are unprecedented in at least the last 1 Pachauri, Rajendra K., Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report, The Core Writing Team, Geneva, 2014. http://www.ren21.net/Portals/0/documents/Resources/GSR/2014/GSR2014_KeyFindings_low% 20res.pdf
  • 2. Maple Yuen Page 2 800,000 years… the climate system are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause…(SPM 1.2 pg. 4) About half of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions between 1750-2011 have occurred in the last 40 years. (Pg. 4)” Before humans existed, there was no such thing as greenhouse gases. But since the industrialization of the world based on fossil fuels, we have slowly been burning fossil fuels and as a result allowed greenhouse gases into the climate that have since accelerated the amount of greenhouse gases in the climate. By burning fossil fuels and putting greenhouses gases into the atmosphere, we’ve speed up the process of destroying the ozone layer and as a result accelerated the speed of destroying the planet a little faster. According to Figure SPM.2 pg. 5, we have increased the use of greenhouse gases (GHG) from 1970 (about 27 Gt) to 2010 (49 Gt). With the increase in GHG, by 2050 the level of additional risk due to climate change will be very high for unique & threatened systems and extreme weather events (Figure SPM.10). To maintain the “GHG concentrations in 2100, we have to lower it to about 450 ppm CO2-eq or lower to maintain warming below 2 degrees Celsius” (pg. 21). We need to start taking action now to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we emit or we will have a very unpredictable life (in weather, sea level, and survival) ahead of us. We have to think about the survival of the human race in the future and what the results will be if we keep continuing on this path of burning fossil fuels and releasing greenhouse gases. Another reason why we should switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy is the increase of the sea level. “Over the period 1992 to 2011, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass likely at a larger rate… Glaciers have continued to shrink almost worldwide… (Pg. 2) Year-round reductions in Arctic sea ice are projected for all RCP scenarios… (Pg. 12) ... Loss of the Greenland ice sheet… an associated sea-level rise of up to 7m… and irreversible ice loss from the Antarctic ice sheet is possible… (Pg. 16)” As the years
  • 3. Maple Yuen Page 3 go by, we will be facing a rise in sea level because of the deterioration of the ice sheet from Antarctica, the Greenland and/or countries way up north. With the rise in water level there will be less land to live on, and an extinction of animals, as well as countries that will cease to exist in the water level rises high enough. The rise in water will cause people to move and movement will overpopulate cities, which will lead to less food, and famine will ensue. Not only will we have a rise in the sea level we will have unpredictable weather as a result of global warming. “Changes in many extreme weather and climate events have been observed since about 1950… decrease in cold temperature extremes, an increase in warm temperature… It is very likely that the number of cold days and night has decreased and the number of warm days and nights has increased on the global scale. It is likely that the frequency of heat waves had increased in large parts of Europe, Asia and Australia. It is very likely that human influence has contributed to the observed global scale changes… (Pg. 7)” Human influence is the reason why the sea level is rising and why we have an increase/decrease in weather around the world. Certain areas that are suppose to be cold year round and experiencing slightly warmer temperature while areas that are hot are experiencing hotter weather. New York is an example of unpredictable weather, we’ve had snow that seems to not stop during the winter while this spring we have gone from days that are hot to days that are cold. We don’t know what the weather is like the next day and we will even be more uncertain the future because of what we have done. By burning fossil fuels we have damaged the ozone layer and as a result the sun is more dangerous to us than ever. With the ice sheets melting away slowly and unpredictable weather, global warming is a serious issue and will get worse as time passes. As time passes with unpredictable weather as well as a rise in the water level, food will become an issue. Countries that are have high income
  • 4. Maple Yuen Page 4 will be able to grow food and provide for the people, but countries that have low income and can’t provide for their people will fall into a famine and die. The third reason why we should switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy is according to the IPCC Synthesis Report, it is human results that have caused global warming to happen and humans will be affected by the result of what’s happening. “Climate change will amplify existing risks and create new risks for human systems… generally greater for disadvantaged people…” (SPM 2.3 pg. 13) New risks will arrive for the poor, they will keep getting poorer and will be in a worse situation than they already are, while the rich have the power to pay for anything and the ability to be in a (slightly) better situation (despite everything that is happening). “Climate change is expected to lead to increases in ill-health in many regions and developing countries with low income... (Pg. 15) Rural areas are expected to experience major impacts on water, supply, and food security… (Pg. 16)” Not only will the poor be worse off, they will also face famine, death, and a pandemic as a result of global warming. Without a way to grow food or have proper supplies, they will suffer die. Humans will be affected by global warming in the way that there will be a major disadvantage for the poor and without proper care/food they will die. To prevent famine, death, and a pandemic we need to adapt our structure of food and ecosystem that is in place right now. “Technological options are new crop and animal varieties, water saving technologies, conservation agriculture, food storage and prevention facilities. Ecosystem- based options include soil conservation, mangrove conservation and replanting, green infrastructure, controlling overfishing, assisted species migration and dispersal, seed banks, and community based natural resources management.” (Pg. 30) We need to be able to have a plan and be able to adapt to the changes when they happen, such as being able to feed people when
  • 5. Maple Yuen Page 5 needed and have a place for the growth of food. Disadvantaged people shouldn’t be disadvantaged; they should have an alternative option of getting food and a chance at survival. One way to take action is for vulnerability and exposure reduction, adaption, and transformation. According to the IPCC Synthesis Report pg. 30, we can use this to improve the world slowly. We can improve all the categories of vulnerability and exposure reduction, by improving access of information, having early warning signs for danger, maintaining ecosystem, improving living conditions, poverty alleviation, security of livelihood, and have a good spatial or land-use planning. If we can improve on the vulnerability and exposure of the disadvantaged we can slowly improve to a better world. We adapt our structure of environment, technology, ecosystem, and services, have more economic options, set up more laws and regulations or improvement of national and government policies and programs. If we can adapt to these than we can increase the lifestyle of the disadvantaged people. We transform education, informational access, political and personal changes are needed. All these factors will help the disadvantaged countries because if their life improves by a little and they are able to not burn fossil fuels they can start using renewable energy. As the disadvantaged countries use fossil fuels, they may be the changing point in containing global warming for a few more years. If they start to use renewable energy, they are starting a small change that can work into the whole world using renewable energy. We need to start small and work our way up to the big changes. Current investment in renewable energy according to REN 21 Report2 shows that the evolution of renewable energy over the past decade has surpassed all expectations. The evolution of renewable energy is slow and may have declined (Investment Flows chart pg. 20) from 2011, 2 REN 21 Steering Committee, Renewables 2014 Global Status Report Key Findings,UNEP,France, Milani, 2014 http://www.ren21.net/Portals/0/documents/Resources/GSR/2014/GSR2014_KeyFindings_low% 20res.pdf
  • 6. Maple Yuen Page 6 where it was at its peak at $279 Billion USD, to 2012 at $250 Billion USD and 2013 at $214 Billion USD, but we can’t deny the development and expansion of renewable energy investment. “Numerous scenarios projected levels of renewable energy for 2020 that were already surpassed by 2010… renewable energy’s potential role in advancing national development… several co- benefits including: reducing the health and environmental impacts… improving educational opportunities, creating jobs, reducing poverty and increasing gender equality.” (Key findings Pg. 5) Even though renewable energy is slow in development or in the market, we can’t deny that it will surpass all expectations. “Renewables also contribute to climate mitigation efforts. The IPCC clearly states in its 2014 report that climate change is already having a sweeping effect on all continents and in every ocean… Renewable, coupled with energy efficiency measures, can help reduce emissions by providing low-carbon energy services.” (Pg. 3) The REN 21 report is using IPCC to prove it’s point, that fossil fuels is damaging the environment and that we need to make the change to renewable energy before it’s too late. Climate change is affecting everything around the world and we need to invest in renewable energy. Whether renewable energy is the alternative solution to burning fossil fuels and endangering the environment or not, as long as we invest in the research and in the development of renewable energy we don’t have to meet expectations as we hoped. But if we keep working on the technology and investing in the research of renewable energy we can have access to clean and sustainable energy for everyone in the future. Renewable energy is an evolving policy landscape. As renewable energy develops, there is a need for policies and rules. “By early 2014, at least 144 countries had renewable energy targets and 138 countries had renewable energy support policies in place… New policies are emerging to advance or manage the integration of high shares of renewable electricity into
  • 7. Maple Yuen Page 7 existing power systems…” (An Evolving Landscape pg. 6) As shown on the Policy Maps pg. 7, the numbers of countries with renewable energy policies by type from 2010-early 2014 have slowly increased. Power Policies from 2010 have increased slowly from about 38 countries to about 53 countries having FIT polices. “To accomplish the goals of reducing emissions… city and local governments have increasingly made use of their authority to regulate… facilitate and ease the financing of renewable energy projects, and influence advocacy and information sharing.” (Pg. 9) As renewable energy evolves, policies are needed and they will help manage the growing market for renewable energy. As we can see from pg. 6 the top 5 countries that have investment in renewable energy power and fuels or production, China is first followed by United States, Japan, United Kingdom and Germany. These countries are moving forward in renewable energy and are working on using renewable energy. With these countries looking into renewable energy there is no denial that jobs are created in these areas of concentration. With the renewable energy market growing, jobs are created for different sectors of renewable energy. “The far-reaching impact of these technologies adds several co-benefits… creating jobs, reducing poverty, and increasing gender equality.” (Key Findings pg. 5) State, city and local government have come together and harnessed local action to ensure global renewable energy uptake, to create jobs, reduce energy costs, address pollution issues and advance their sustainability goals by setting up targets or fostering the idea of renewables. As seen in Jobs in Renewable Energy (pg. 22) there are about 6.5 Million jobs in total around the world that are provided from renewable energy market. Whether it’s from the Bioenergy, Geothermal, Hydropower, Solar Energy or Wind Power energy, there are jobs created and areas of interest for people. With renewable energy making it’s way into the market, jobs are being created because countries are investing in the research of renewable energy.
  • 8. Maple Yuen Page 8 Countries should look into incentives for companies to research renewable energy. The North Carolina 2015 RTI International Report3 provides a good example of how we can use incentives to exit fossil fuels and move into renewable energy. North Carolina’s state program of REPS and tax credits produced economic benefit by exceeding its initial incentive and helping the economy grow in terms of environmentally and economically. “Clean energy development contributed $4,197.9 million in GSP and supported 44,549 annual FTEs statewide.” (Pg. 2-1) According to table 2-1 you can see that the state incentives were low for renewable energy, the state didn’t think that clean energy was worth the investment, but the income that clean energy bought in has exceeded their predictions and gone far above the incentive. For example, the state incentive for 2014 for clean energy investment in North Carolina was $80 Million, but in reality it made a profit of $900.7 Million, a larger profit that the state didn’t think it would have yielded. The investment has produced economic benefit and growth. The economic impact that clean energy has done for the economy of North Carolina has made a huge difference. “Investment in clean energy development increased substantially over the 8-year analysis period… Contributing $4,197.9 million in GSP…” (Pg. 2-1) The expectation that the government had for the clean energy project was probably low, but it’s surpassed their incentive by 18 times more and has brought investment from both urban and rural countries. "This increased employment and associated increased income, which will result in increased purchases of consumer goods and services within the state.” (Pg. 2-9) Investment in clean energy may be slow at first, but after a few years it will gain momentum and become better. There should be a shift to renewable energy because it means the environment can be saved slowly from greenhouse gases. We should follow 3 RTI International, Economic and Rate Impact Analysis of Clean Energy Development in North Carolina—2015 Update, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, 2015 http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.energync.org/resource/resmgr/Resources_Page/RTI_2015.pdf
  • 9. Maple Yuen Page 9 North Carolina’s model of slowly getting to clean energy and have an incentive for clean energy. We shouldn’t think about the money that renewable energy could save, we should think about how it will better the environment and start getting into clean energy investments. Not only does North Carolina’s model work by having incentives to switching to renewable energy, it also creates employment, income, and a better environment for everyone. The “Taxes and incentives for renewable energy,” KPMG International Report4 gives us a report of countries that have started to look into renewable energy and how they are able to implement it into their economy. Stopping the use of fossil fuels is going to be a hard process to break because we’ve relied on it for a long time, but if we can start small and make the changes at a small pace we will eventually make it to renewable energy in the future. “On the long term, the energy industry in general and renewables in particular will see steady growth. Between now and 2035, research and analysis suggests that: Global electricity demand will increase by over 70 percent. Overall energy demand will rise by over 30 percent. Generation from renewables will increase to almost three times its 2010 level. The share of renewables in the generation mix will increase to 31 percent.” (Pg. 5) This is what may happen and renewable energy will slowly adapt into the economy and we’ll all be using renewable energy. We have to keep investing and researching into all the alternative options of renewable energy so that we can have options for energy and to slow the progress of damage we’ve done to the atmosphere. There has to be some incentives for research to begin on renewable energy other than saving the planet. To make the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy we need to have tax incentives or other incentives for countries to make the switch. If there are tax incentives, the governments 4 Head of Global Energy and Natural Resources Tax Practice, Taxes and Incentives for Renewable Energy, KPMG International, Swiss, 2014 http://www.kpmg.com/Global/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Documents/taxes- incentives-renewable-energy-v1.pdf
  • 10. Maple Yuen Page 10 can give companies incentives for the investment, the research and the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. I think tax incentives by itself would be an effective way to exit from fossil fuels, but we need the right incentive for each country to make the switch to renewable energy. Every country is different; we can’t have a developed countries method of tax incentives used for an undeveloped country because the criteria would be different. For example: South Korea’s plan for renewable energy is “the intent to build one million homes by 2020 that use one of the following renewable energy technologies: solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, geothermal, biomass and wind energy. Each year, the government will set a new budget for the coming year.” (KPMG International Report Pg. 63) South Korea’s plan probably wouldn’t work in undeveloped countries, but it can be used as a model for almost every country. South Korea’s incentive is passing The Act with the goal of becoming one of the five largest producers of renewable energy, by setting a quota for how much they should reach within a certain period, supporting facilities in renewable energy and their One Million Green Home Project where they hope to build one million homes by 2020 that use renewable energy technology is a model that we can/should use to exit from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The US should also set a goal of reaching a specific level for renewable energy and either reach it or surpass that goal. If we set a low goal and we surpass that goal, we are able to see that renewable energy may be the future of energy. It just needs to have the right incentives for companies to invest, research and provide renewable energy we can reach the goal we have set and maybe even surpass the expectations. We should also do the One Million Green Home Project, by building one million homes or less that is renewable energy friendly and uses renewable energy we are starting by building these homes that are helping the economy and not burning fossil fuels as energy. If we start by building apartments and homes that are renewable energy friendly we
  • 11. Maple Yuen Page 11 can start working our way into a city then a state then the country. Although every state/country is different we should start small everywhere and work our way up to a global scale. Apart from having tax incentives we should also have other incentives for companies to go into renewable energy such as awards, recognition, government support…etc. that would motivate them to want to do good for themselves as well as the economy. We should have tax incentives that exempt them from government taxes, property taxes...etc. If we lessen some taxes that they have to pay then they may be more motivated to want to research, invest, and provide renewable energy. Job opportunities will open because companies are putting money into research of renewable energy and people will work to find the alternative solution to fossil fuels. They will research and find a way for renewable energy to be profitable and to be used by everyone globally to save/slow the emission of greenhouses gases into the planet. We will have to combine tax incentives with other incentives and with Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (REPS) and feed-in-tariffs because REPS will be the regulator that monitors companies in the renewable energy field to meet standards of production of energy and monitors that they are providing renewable energy to a certain source. We have to make sure that companies that we are investing in and have supported the research of renewable energy are meeting standards and are looking into renewable energy as the alternative source to burning fossil fuels. We can’t have companies using the money and funding to spend it on nothing when we have provided funding for the company to do research on renewable energy. We also need feed-in-tariffs because we don’t need to have companies providing us with renewable energy, we can provide it ourselves and it would motive us to want to think about the economy and try to save it. If we are helping the economy by providing renewable energy we are doing something good, and it can cause a chain reaction that would spread to others wanting to do this feed-in-tariff. Companies don’t
  • 12. Maple Yuen Page 12 have to have all the burden of providing the energy to us, if we are helping, then we are participating in the goal of being a state/country that is going for renewable energy. Starting from an apartment of renewable energy to homes to a town then a city then the state and lastly the country would be the ideal route of reaching the goal of stopping fossil fuels from burning and using renewable energy. If we start small we will get to the big picture at a pace that we won’t even expect. We need to have an international agreement/plan for moving to renewable energy. We need to consider every state/country that there is and the best way to go about this plan. Starting from the undeveloped countries/poor countries to get them to stop burning fossil fuels and into renewable energy would be ideal because they may be the changing point. If they are able to stop burning fossil fuels and use renewable energy, we have started somewhere and can work our way up. Everyone needs to work together to help the undeveloped/poor countries have renewable energy so we can reach the goal of everyone using renewable energy. We can’t start from the top and move down because we either see that it isn’t working and give up or we will see that it is working and not stop to think about the undeveloped/poor countries. In conclusion, global warming is a problem and we need to realize it. We need to make the change from burning fossil fuels to using renewable energy soon or else we won’t have much of a planet to live on. To make the switch to renewable energy, we need to start small and move our way into the big picture. We need to provide for the undeveloped/poor countries first with renewable energy so they stop burning fossil fuels then we can work into the nation using renewable energy. We also need to have the right tax incentive and plan of moving into renewable energy. We can have one plan work for every country, but we must consider the challenges and revision that we need to put in because not every country is the same; we’re all
  • 13. Maple Yuen Page 13 different and will need different plans to reaching the goal of renewable energy. We need to come to an international solution that will work for everyone and will satisfy them, as well as starting from the bottom and working towards the top. We need to make the switch to renewable energy now before it’s too late.