Thursday, November 6, 2014

Updates: Climate, Fukushima & Renewable Energy Solutions- WWF & Greenpeace

Andy Murray becomes global ambassador for WWF to help fight poaching and illegal wildlife trade  0  0  New Posted on 06 November 2014  |  Tennis star Andy Murray has today become a global ambassador for WWF supporting the fight against poaching and illegal wildlife trade.  The world number eight seed will be helping to raise awareness through an initiative in Nepal that trains dogs to track down poaching activity within Chitwan National Park. Andy who is well known for his love of dogs will be raising vital funds throughout his tennis tour next year to support this crucial work in Nepal.  Nepal is home to magnificent species such as tigers, rhino and elephant - all of which are under threat due to poaching for the illegal trade in animal parts. As Nepal has long been a key transit route for these products, the programme aims to prevent poachers smuggling animal parts out of the park. The sniffer dog training is a unique new plan that will work alongside WWF’s current wildlife trade programme in the country.  In honour of Andy’s support a new puppy that will be part of the elite training team will be named ‘Murray’ Andy Murray said: “It’s a shocking fact that the rise in rhino poaching increased by 7,700% between 2007 and 2013 and as few as 3,200 tigers remaining in the wild so anything we can do to deter poachers is a positive step in the right direction. I’ve followed WWF’s work on the illegal wildlife trade for a while now and been looking for a way to support the campaign. I think it’s incredibly important that this trade is prevented and the sniffer dog programme seemed like the perfect venture for me to get behind. I know from my own dogs how clever they can be and it’s fascinating how these sniffer dogs communicate with their handlers. I’m also really looking forward to going to see Murray at work at some point in the near future.” Heather Sohl, Chief Species Advisor at WWF-UK, said: “We’re delighted that Andy has joined us in our quest to fight the illegal wildlife trade and this programme seems the perfect fit for him. We’re looking forward to sharing news of Murray’s progress with him as well as from the wider team of sniffer dogs in Nepal. Illegal wildlife products are often difficult to detect so it is vital if we are to stop the trade for us to continually find new ways of identifying products being transported across the borders. With the right training, sniffer dogs can be used to trace wildlife parts, such as rhino horn, tiger bones and tiger skins.” As part of a global programme to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trade WWF also initiates the use of cutting edge technologies, such as managing patrolling using GPS and databases, using unmanned aerial vehicles to monitor, detect and deter poaching  - along with the use of sniffer dogs, for the very first time. India gets its first MSC certified fishery  0  0  New Posted on 05 November 2014  |  Kochi/New Delhi: Sustainable fisheries in the developing world have taken a significant step forward today with the certification of India’s first clam fishery in Kerala, southern India.   The Ashtamudi short neck clam fishery is only the third fishery in Asia to have received this recognition.   “WWF-India initiated the MSC Certification of the Ashtamudi short-neck clam fishery in 2010 recognising the possibility of bringing in global sustainability standards for the benefit of conservation and local livelihoods. We are very pleased to see the culmination of these efforts with the recognition of India’s first MSC certified fishery” said Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF-India.   The clam fishery in Ashtamudi dates back to 1981 and supports the livelihoods of around 3000 fishers involved in collection, cleaning, processing and trading the clams. Ashtamudi Lake is a Ramsar wetland of international importance and has extensive mangrove habitats harboring nearly 90 species of fish and 10 species of clams.   The growth of Ashtamudi’s commercial fishery was driven by demand in Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia in the 1980s and 1990s. By 1991, the catch peaked at 10,000 tonnes a year, but declined 50% in 1993 due to overfishing.   A closed season and mesh size restrictions for nets were introduced, along with a minimum export size and a prohibition on mechanical clam fishing. These measures showed immediate effects, and the clam fishery has sustained landings of around 10,000 tonnes a year for the past decade.   “We are extremely pleased to see this small-scale fishery become the first in India to be certified to the MSC’s global standard for sustainable fishing. It will be an important addition to the growing number of developing world fisheries that are demonstrating their sustainability through the MSC’s certification program,” said David Agnew, MSC Standards Director. MSC certification will mean the implementation of measures to ensure that this valuable resource is not overfished and its ecosystem is protected. It also opens up the scope for other fisheries in India to work towards MSC certification that will enhance conservation and sustainability of the resource while providing greater economic returns.   The MSC certification was a joint effort by WWF, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and the Kerala State Fisheries Department and the local fishing community. The certification demonstrates the power of collaboration between partners and the importance of grass-roots activism of fishers to protect the environment and their livelihoods. No more debates on climate science, over to leaders Posted on 02 November 2014  |  0 Comments (Switzerland) – Today in Copenhagen, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the final volume of its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The report represents seven years of work by more than a thousand scientists globally from 160 countries. Commenting on the report, Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative says: The world’s best climate scientists have given us a solid, thorough and conservative measuring stick for the global effort on climate change. This report has been approved by all 195 IPCC member governments as well as scientists. It represents an extremely broad and global scientific consensus on climate change. It tells us that climate change is already affecting people and nature everywhere. Ocean acidification, sea level rise, extreme heat events, and profound changes in the Arctic show that climate change is already a fact. It tells us that we are the cause, and that our addiction to fossil fuels is the overwhelming source of the pollution that is changing our climate.  But while the report details the dire effects of an unstable climate, it also spells out a clear path to a cleaner, safer future. Its key findings are: 1) The world can afford to fight climate change. This will neither harm economies nor stop development – to the contrary. What is clear is that inaction will be much more costly, even when considering conservative estimates. 2) It is not too late to avoid catastrophic climate change. Rapid, decisive action to get out of fossil fuels in particular can keep global temperature increases under 2º Celsius, which is the threshold indicated by science to avoid dangerous climate change, and agreed by governments. 3) There is a carbon budget – a limit on how much we can emit - and we have already used most of it. Globally, emissions must go down quickly, with emissions peaking this decade and going to zero mid-century if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. Governments, businesses and indeed all of us must move beyond small steps, and move into phasing out fossil fuels completely. 4) Adaptation to climate change is critical, but there are sharp limits to it. Without immediate action on emissions and limiting impacts, adaptation will not be sufficient to protect lives, livelihoods and the natural world on which people depend. 5) Whether we act to cut emissions and adapt raises issues of equity, justice and fairness. If we fail to act, we jeopardise efforts to reduce poverty and endanger food, water and livelihoods for many of the world’s poor. We also leave today’s youth and future generations with a nearly insurmountable challenge. In New York in September, people from all parts of society marched to demand action. Faith leaders, business, trade unions, students, grassroots organisations, civil society groups and individual citizens have called on governments to act swiftly and with ambition. Now, it is their turn – to use their broad mandate, provide the billions needed for this transition, and agree on the way forward for a global climate deal in Lima. EU leaders out of touch with climate reality  0  0  12 Posted on 24 October 2014  |  0 Comments (GLAND, Switzerland, 24 October 2014) -  Europe’s new climate and energy targets for the period 2020–2030 show a leadership out of touch with climate reality, said WWF’s Global Climate and Energy initiative leader Samantha Smith.   “The reality is that climate change already threatens people and nature. Yet the scale of ambition we need to tackle climate change is missing from the emission reduction, renewable energy and energy efficiency targets announced today by the EU Council. We are still waiting for targets that will fight climate pollution and drive rapid, just divestment out of fossil fuels and into the renewable, efficient economy of the future,” she says.   “The world just experienced the warmest six months ever recorded. Severe heatwaves and flash floods are now hallmarks of European seasons; already developing countries are experiencing severe impacts of climate change. For both, the worst is yet to come.   “This climate reality and the latest climate science call for drastic action by governments – and the EU has failed its citizens and the citizens of the world by caving in to vested and political interests. We can only hope that European leaders will rise to the challenge in 2015, when they submit the EU’s targets for cutting climate pollution to the global negotiations for a climate agreement,” says Smith.   “But what makes the weak package even worse is that ambitious climate and energy targets would have massive benefits for EU citizens - less pollution, better health and fewer premature deaths, as well as new, more secure job opportunities and energy independence. The EU has missed a big opportunity to reclaim its global leadership position and set the pace to a new global climate deal in Paris in December 2015,” she says.   "European leaders are sacrificing our futures on the altar of politics, and the coming months will be crucial to avoid the worst implications of this decision," says WWF’s head of EU climate and energy policy Jason Anderson. “The EU will need to review its target, as it is asking other countries in the UN to do. Those Member States who see the benefits of climate action will try to fill the void with domestic policy, but action will be fractured, and an EU policy response will be necessary.” Alpine lifelines on the brink  5  0  25 Posted on 20 October 2014  |  Gland, Switzerland – Only one in ten Alpine rivers are healthy enough to maintain water supply and to cope with climate impacts according to a report by WWF. The publication is the first-ever comprehensive study on the condition of Alpine rivers. The landmark WWF study, Save the Alpine Rivers, found that only 340 kilometers of large Alpine water systems remain ecologically intact compared to 2,300 kilometers of heavily modified or artificial stretches of river. “Healthy rivers, streams, wetlands and floodplains provide a suite of ecosystem services including fresh water and flood protection,” said Christoph Litschauer, Head of WWF’s European Alpine Freshwater Program. “These systems are essential for human livelihood. Beyond basic services, we also have to look at healthy natural rivers as one of our best insurance policies against climate change.” The high mountain ranges of the Alps function as water towers for 14 million people from eight countries. The rivers that drain these mountains provide household and agricultural water, food, fisheries, energy, jobs and recreation. The study, carried out with Vienna’s University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, assesses the current status of 57,000 kilometers of river and found 89 out of 100 Alpine rivers are already substantially harmed. Only 11 per cent of rivers are in pristine condition, with the rest having been redirected, altered or impacted by hydro-electric dams. “Many planned hydro-dams are situated in protected areas like the Soca in Slovenia or on pristine rivers like the Isel in Austria. These counteract current protection efforts,” continued Litschauer. “Rivers are more than mere energy suppliers; they need to be seen for the complete natural services they provide.” In addition to damming and regulation of rivers, Alpine riverbanks are being converted to agricultural land and urban areas, reducing their natural ability to regulate floods. Climate change was also identified as a threat to Alpine rivers in the report. This adds to the results of a separate study conducted for the Austrian government that found that temperature increase in the Alps is much higher than in other regions of the world. The temperature in the Alps has risen by 2°C within the last 200 years, far above the average global temperature increase of .85°C. Following the costly and catastrophic floods that hit Europe in the past few years, WWF highlights the need to strengthen the resilience of water ecosystems and is calling on governments to prepare an action plan to protect and restore these rivers. “Extreme weather events are increasingly likely and we must protect and strengthen the capacity of our ‘green infrastructure’ including living rivers and wetlands. The environment is changing and we must respond,” said Litschauer. Despite being one of the most densely populated mountain ecosystems in the world, the Alps contain a variety of unspoiled wild places and are important for biodiversity. The WWF study defines no-go areas for hydro power plants and highlights river stretches for future restoration projects. Learning the tragic lesson of Fukushima: No nuclear restart at Sendai Blogpost by Jan Vande Putte - 31 October, 2014 at 14:00 8 comments In March 2011, Japan suffered the worst nuclear catastrophe in a generation, with triple reactor core meltdowns and exploded containment buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The catastrophe was a stern warning about the perils of depending on nuclear power. Legislation to promote renewable energy has meant the number of solar power installations has rocketed. With reactors going offline and being unable to restart due in large part to public opposition, Japanese citizens have enjoyed over a year in which no nuclear power plant has operated. This progress could be reversed if the Abe administration gets its way and begins restarting reactors. The first two to be promoted for restart are at the Sendai nuclear plant in the Kagoshima prefecture, on Japan's southern island of Kyushu. These proposed restarts are not a done deal, as some news reports have suggested. Greenpeace wants Governor Ito and his officials in Kagoshima to respect the opinion of the majority of the prefecture's residents - and the Japanese public at large - and step in to keep Sendai closed. It's a simple question of public safety: no reactors should be restarted. And especially not the two at Sendai which are situated in a coastal seismic zone next to a super volcano. I was a member of the team of Greenpeace radiation experts that went to the Fukushima disaster zone 10 days after the catastrophe to investigate and expose the extent of radioactive contamination. This week, we returned to Fukushima prefecture to continue to document the continuing nuclear crisis. Seeing the tragic reality of the people living there made us think about the people living in the shadow of the Sendai reactors. A nuclear disaster is an unsolvable problem and ordinary people end up paying when they lose their livelihoods and communities. Decontamination efforts at Fukushima, which began in 2012, have proved massively expensive and hugely intensive. Thousands of workers have invested tens of thousands of hours removing soil and cleaning houses, unfortunately with very limited success. One result of the decontamination effort is clearly visible. Immense quantities of radioactive waste have been generated, and it keeps on multiplying. Along the roads, piles of large black bags. each holding around a cubic metre of radioactive waste, await transport to larger temporary storage sites. We visited one of these sites in Kawauchi. In the breathtakingly beautiful setting of forests and mountains our first sight was of an immense area filled with bag upon bag of radioactive waste. At just this one site no less than 200,000 of these cubic-metre bags lie covered by green tarpaulins. Around Fukushima there are thousands of similar nuclear waste storage sites. The supposed 'decontamination' has succeeded only in relocating the radioactive contamination. It's a huge problem without any real, safe solution. Even these large-scale efforts are proving inadequate in lowering radiation exposure levels to government targets. As evacuation orders are lifted, people are moving back into areas that are still dangerously contaminated. Many residents are effectively being forced to return home, because within a year of the order to return they risk losing their already meagre compensation. Those living in contaminated areas face a terrible dilemma. This week we again visited Myiakoji, the first village to have its evacuation order lifted. We were there a year ago when former residents were beginning to come to terms with the impact of the lifting of the evacuation order.  Last year our monitoring work found radiation levels were still higher than the government target despite a decontamination effort that had involved more than a thousand workers whose focus was on 200 homes. Little in Myiakoji has changed. Radiation levels are similar to those in 2013. Of 5,600 measurements we took along the road, 34% were above the government's radiation target. Away from the roads, where no decontamination had been undertaken, we discovered considerably higher radiation levels. In Kawauchi, another area where the evacuation order was lifted only a few weeks ago, 59% of our radiation measurements were over the target level and, again, we measured higher levels away from the roads. Many of those who can afford to are staying away. Like Mrs. Watanabe who will never return to her beautiful home and mountain orchard that have been heavily contaminated by the Fukushima disaster. They are lost to her forever. She would rather live in relative safety in a tiny flat, and bear the heavy cost of building a new house elsewhere, than put her health at risk by returning to her mountain home and the land that she once so cherished.  It's the same story in Fukushima City, 60 kilometres from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Initial measurements we took in a parking lot suggested it had been well-decontaminated. Compared to last year this was the first real progress of decontamination that we had observed. But six metres from our first measurement point radiation levels jumped to way above the government target. There we found the ground was contaminated with approximately twelve and a half times more radioactive caesium than the level which would lead the Japanese government to classify it as radioactive waste. Officially, the levels of radioactivity in this parking lot would demand wearing radiation protection and approval by authorities to handle it. As with everywhere else undergoing decontamination operations, radioactive waste is piled up throughout Fukushima City. On the outskirts, much of it has been shovelled into what were once citizens' gardens. We also returned to the village of Iitate. We'd taken measurements back in 2011, ten days after the start of the disaster, when citizens had not yet been evacuated. It was still heavily contaminated, having suffered the full extent of the explosions at Fukushima with no shelter from any surrounding mountains that could have blocked some of the radioactive fallout. The first thing that struck me on returning to Iitate was the heavy traffic – only this time the cars were mostly full of decontamination workers, and the trucks were filled with radioactive waste. Hundreds of workers were labouring intensively in a vain attempt at decontamination. At a rough guess, I would say that over 1,000 workers are engaged in trying to decontaminate this one place. It appears to be a political operation, one designed to give the impression that even after a nuclear disaster the problem is "manageable". Radiation levels in Iitate show no prospect of falling to what is deemed acceptable. At not less than 96% of the locations we monitored radiation levels that exceeded the government's target level. This is the overwhelming and unsolvable nature of a nuclear crisis. When a major nuclear disaster occurs, the damage is long-lived, pervasive, and impossible to rectify. It generates enormous amounts of waste for which there is no safe storage. It literally destroys entire communities and people's way of life. Fukushima's citizens are having to live with the gross injustice of having lost everything to a nuclear disaster for which they were in no way responsible. Now they are being stripped of the meagre and inadequate support they received as they are effectively forced back into radioactively contaminated areas. They are being offered up purely for political reasons amid the Japanese government's effort to restart nuclear reactors. From the perspective of public safety and human rights there is only one just and fair policy: if citizens do not want to return to contaminated communities, where they cannot work safely in the fields or forests as many once did, they should receive adequate compensation that allows them to establish new lives for themselves elsewhere. But, if the Abe government gets its way, not only will more Fukushima victims be stripped of their already inadequate compensation, but more Japanese citizens will continue to live with the looming threat of a similar disaster and the same grossly unjust and inhumane fate. Japan has been nuclear-free for over a year, and no electricity blackouts have occurred. The Japanese government should turn its back on nuclear power and instead opt for an energy policy based on improving energy efficiency and expanding renewable energy. This would protect its citizens from a repetition of the horrors of Fukushima and set the country on track to meet its climate commitments by 2020. Governor Ito, and his officials in the Kagoshima prefecture where the Sendai nuclear plant is located should heed the lessons of the Fukushima catastrophe and go all-out for a clean and risk-free energy future. Jan Vande Putte is a specialist in radiation safety who trained at the Technical University of Delft. He has participated in environmental surveys of radioactive contamination in Belgium, France, Japan, Russia, Spain and Ukraine. He is an energy campaigner with Greenpeace Belgium. This 'boom' might save the world - 10 quick facts about renewable energy Blogpost by Kaisa Kosonen - 30 October, 2014 at 10:00 4 comments As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in 2007? On the 'solutions' side, the answer is pretty straightforward: Nuclear power hasn't changed much. IPCC notes that nuclear capacity is declining globally and that, from safety to financial viability, nuclear power faces many barriers. "Carbon capture and storage" (CCS) isn't really breaking the mold either. Although the IPCC identifies a need and potential for future CCS-aided emission reductions, in reality, CCS isn't delivering and, since 2007, "studies have underscored a growing number of practical challenges to commercial investment in CCS". The big news is the breakthrough in new renewable energy In just a few years, solar and wind technologies have grown so competitive and widespread that they are gradually reshaping common perceptions of climate change mitigation. 'Saving the climate is too difficult and too costly' is becoming 'We can do this!' Even in purely economic terms, renewable energy (RE) is set to gradually outcompete fossil fuels. According to the IPCC: "Since AR4, many RE technologies have demonstrated substantial performance improvements and cost reductions, and a growing number of RE technologies have achieved a level of maturity to enable deployment at significant scale (robust evidence, high agreement)." So, what does the mean in practice? Here are 10 quick facts: 1. There's now 15 times more solar power and three times more wind power in the world than in 2007. 2. The costs of solar and wind have declined profoundly. Renewables are increasingly the cheapest source of new electricity. According to the IRENA, the price of onshore wind electricity has fallen 18% since 2009, with turbine costs falling nearly 30% since 2008, making it the cheapest source of new electricity in a wide and growing range of markets. In places as diverse as Australia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, India and throughout the US, the cost of electricity production from onshore wind power now is on par with, or lower than, fossil fuels. For solar, the speed of cost decline has been even more dramatic. Solar photovoltaic (PV) prices have fallen by 80% since 2008 (!) and are expected to keep dropping. Solar can now increasingly compete with conventional energy without subsidies. In 2013, commercial solar power reached grid parity (i.e. the point at which it is comparable or cheaper to produce electricity with solar than purchase it from the grid) in Italy, Germany and Spain and will do so soon in Mexico and France. 3. Renewables are now mainstream: In the OECD countries, 80% of new electricity generation added between now and 2020 is expected to be renewable. In the non-OECD countries, conventional power still dominates, but renewables are already the largest new generation source. Given China's recent action to curb coal use and restrict new coal plants in some regions, the projection on new conventional generation may still change. 4. Individual countries are already reaching high shares of wind, solar and other renewables In Spain, wind power was the country's top source of electricity in 2013, ahead of nuclear, coal and gas. Renewables altogether supplied 42% of mainland Spain's electricity in 2013, and 50% in the first half of 2014. In Denmark, wind provided for 41% of the country's electricity consumption in the first half of 2014. In South Australia, wind farms produced enough electricity to meet a record 43%of the state's power needs during July 2014. In the Philippines, renewable energy – mainly geothermal – provides 30% of the country's electricity. In the United States, the states of Iowa and South Dakota produced about 24% of their electricity with wind in 2012. Altogether nine US states were producing more than 10% of their electricity with wind. In India, the state of Tamil Nadu already gets 13% of its electricity from wind. 5. Any country can now reach high shares of wind, solar power cost-effectively, says the International Energy Agency. 6. Renewable energy now provides 22% of the world's electricity. By 2030, wind energy alone could produce a fifth of world's electricity. 7. Growth rates prove how fast renewables can be deployed and scaled up. In just two years, Japan has installed 11 GW of solar energy. In terms of electricity, that equals more than two nuclear reactors (building a nuclear plant typically takes a decade or more). Furthermore, Japan has approved 72 GW of renewable energy projects, most of which are solar. This compares to about 16 nuclear reactors, or about 20 coal fired power plant units. Last year, China installed as much new wind power as the rest of the world combined. This is as many solar panels as the US installed in the past decade. In four years, China aims to double its wind capacity and triple its solar capacity. In just three years, Germany has increased its share of renewable energy in power from 17% to 24%. Solar alone produced 30 TWhs of electricity last year, which is equal to the output of about four German nuclear reactors. Sub-Saharan Africa will add more wind, solar and geothermal energy in 2014 than in the past 14 years in total, while India aims to boost its solar PV capacity more than six-fold in less thank five years, by adding 15 GW by early 2019. 8. Leading investment banks are advising investors to go renewable. Here's where the renewables breakthrough is truly visible: annual new investments into clean energy have doubled since 2006/2007, with 16% growth recorded so far for this year. Leading investment banks are advising investors to go renewables. Citi declared in March this year that the Age of Renewables is Beginning. Renewables are increasingly competitive with natural gas in the US, while nuclear and coal is pretty much out of the game already. Deutsche Bank considers solar to be competitive without subsidies now in at least 19 markets globally. They also see prices declining further in 2014. HSBC analysts suggest wind energy is now cost competitive with new coal energy in India, and solar will reach parity around 2016-18. UBS analysts, according to the Guardian, suggest that big power stations in Europe could be redundant within 10-20 years! Technological advances, like electric cars, cheaper batteries and new solar technologies are turning dirty power plants into dinosaurs faster than expected. 9. Renewable energy delivers for communities and builds resilience. Not having access to electricity means missing out on many opportunities in life. This is still reality for about 1.3 billion people in the world. But now, renewable energy is making energy access more achievable. Its technologies are by now significantly cheaper than diesel or kerosene- based systems, and cheaper than extending the grid in areas with low populations and per capita energy demand. Local, clean solutions, like microgrids running on solar, give poorer smaller communities control over their own energy destiny. The systems are relatively cheap to maintain and the people living off of their own renewably sourced electricity are not beholden to volatile fossil fuel prices or the unsustainable demands of the massive energy conglomerates. 10. 100% renewable energy is the way to go. Renewable energy can meet all our energy needs. As the IPCC finds, the technical potential is much higher than all global energy demands. 100% renewable energy is what communities, regions, cities – even megacities – and companies are already making a reality through courageous actions and targets. Sydney, the most populated city in Australia, is going to switch to 100% renewable energy in electricity, heating and cooling by 2030. The colder cities are on board too: three Nordic capitals (Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen) have all set goals for 100 % renewable energy, while Reykjavik is meeting it already. Germany's windy state of Schleswig-Holstein will probably achieve 100% renewable electricity already this year, while Cape Verde, an Island country in Africa, aims to get there by 2020. In Denmark, the whole country aims to meet all its heat and power with 100% renewables in just 20 years and all energy, transport included, by 2050. There's plenty, plenty of more, see for example here and here. Going 100% renewables is a smart business decision too, says leading businesses, including BT, Commerzbank, H&M, Ikea KPN, Mars, Nestle, Philips and Swiss Re. They are campaigning for a goal that by 2020, 100 of the world's largest companies will have committed to 100% renewable power. Renewable sustainable energy sources are no longer the stuff of science fiction. Every day there are more and more examples of it being used and improved upon across our fragile planet. Yet, clean energy hasn't won just yet. The powerful fossil fuel industry with their allies are fighting back hard, with the help of hundreds of billions of government subsidies they are still enjoying annually. This raises the question: where do you want to be? Stuck in the dark ages of fossil fuels, or basking in the sun and wind of a clean energy future? Kaisa Kosonen is a Climate Policy Advisor with Greenpeace Nordic.

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