Energy Security, Economic Development and Global Warming: Addressing Short and Long Term Challenges
International Journal of Green Economics, 2009
40 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2010
Date Written: 2009
Energy security, economic development and averting global warming are conflicting objectives in a fossil fuel economy. In the long run, sustainable development requires a shift to renewable energy sources. In the short run the climate change problem requires swift action2 and different strategies. There is no “silver bullet” and a combination of technologies and strategies will be required to meet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) requirements.3 The article develops one example based on ‘negative carbon’ using air capture of carbon dioxide for storage into geological sites and solid materials. When driven by energy produced by carbon-neutral sources (such as Concentrated Solar Power or CSP) this approach can co-produce electricity while reducing carbon concentration in the atmosphere (Jones 2008, 2008b, Chichilnisky 2008, Chichilnisky and Eisenberger, 2009, Chichilnisky and Eisenberger et. al., 2009). While providing additional energy the process makes fossil power plants net carbon sinks, however changing entirely the relationship between the three problems: in the short run it advances energy security and economic development while averting climate change. In the long run, the approach accelerates the transition to renewable sources of energy and is compatible with sustainable development. The article addresses short and long run challenges with this capability in the context of the economic incentives provided by the carbon market of the UN Kyoto Protocol, whose functioning is analyzed. We explore the implications for extending Kyoto’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in a way that benefits most the developing nations in Latin America and Africa, and the global transition from a fossil to a renewable economy.
Keywords: Kyoto Protocol, Energy Security, Economic Development, Climate Change, Global Environment, United Nations Climate Convention,Alternative Energy, Developing Nations, Technology Transfer, Solar Energy, Solar Economy, Concentrated Solar Power, International Energy Agency, World Bank, The Carbon Market
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