Climate Relativity - Johan Albrecht


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Final part of a talk by Johan Albrecht of Itinera Institute, Belgium. See for more information.

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Climate Relativity - Johan Albrecht

  1. 1. Effectiveness / adequacy climate policy Johan Albrecht
  2. 2. Mitigation versus adaptation I <ul><li>Victim climate change: poor regions with limited adaptive capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Climate policy à la Kyoto; mitigation or GHG-reduction policy </li></ul><ul><li>Why? Adaptation not profitable enough for Western companies & more interest for own savings lamp… </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptation measures; always profitable, even without climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Mitigation; Kyoto-countries invest in emission reductions – no impact on climate damage in developing countries before 2060/2070 – climate vulnerability remains </li></ul><ul><li>Mitigation; Kyoto-countries use less fossil fuels -> lower world price for other users – EU subsidizes fossil fuel consumption in rest of the world – great, but for how long? </li></ul><ul><li>IEA (WEO 2007): historical CO 2 -emissions 1900-2030; EU=China </li></ul>
  3. 3. Mitigation versus adaptation II <ul><li>Stable global temperature = aggregate of local temperature changes </li></ul><ul><li>Stable global temperature does not exclude climate problems in vulnerable regions </li></ul><ul><li>What is a problematic local climate change for vulnerable regions? 0.2°C, 0.4°C, 0.6°C, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Solution; development of vulnerable regions, and development starts with a reliable and comprehensive energy system </li></ul>
  4. 4. Wealth after the fossil scarcity Johan Albrecht
  5. 5. Energy transition and wealth <ul><li>Sloterdijk; Industrial Revolution (IR) was an energy revolution – classical economists as well as Marxists reduced energy to a resource (such as water), but energy is an agent, a leveller </li></ul><ul><li>IR: fossil energy is transformed into wealth out of fossil energy systems </li></ul><ul><li>Energy flows in the atmosphere are ‘unlimited’ </li></ul><ul><li>Captation of energy flows in atmosphere around 2050 or earlier; rise of global wealth, especially favouring Asia and Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Asians want to develop an ‘inclusive’ energy system </li></ul><ul><li>Optimism; army of Asian engineers is on the move … and Asia needs to tackle the energy challenge (see succes of young Asian energy companies such as Suzlon) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Transition policy? Johan Albrecht
  7. 7. What to do? <ul><li>Transition of energy system; long-term exercise with many unknown variables </li></ul><ul><li>Could the best scientists in 1907 or 1957 predict the energy landscape of today? Can we now predict the energy landscape of 2057 or 2107? </li></ul><ul><li>Technological innovations do not fall from the trees… </li></ul><ul><li>Priority for policymakers: to create a stimulating economic environment for intelligent energy technology entrepreneurship </li></ul><ul><li>Climate policy today; lists with established and old technologies </li></ul>
  8. 8. What to do? (II) <ul><li>‘ People’ produce innovations – ‘Belgium in the knowledge economy of tomorrow’ requires more students to pursue technological and science-based carreers </li></ul><ul><li>Belgium is small and should find a place in international networks on hydrogen, long range distribution grids, off-shore wind, new nuclear etc </li></ul><ul><li>One small SME can make a difference… </li></ul><ul><li>Without an attractive climate for energy entrepreneurship; Belgium will buy intelligent energy technologies from other countries </li></ul><ul><li>Climate and energy policy = invest in people, invest in the future </li></ul>