The World Bioenergy Association (WBA) calls on the delegates attending the 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22) at Marrakech, Morocco to act now with a managed yearly decline of fossil fuel use and implementing a carbon tax in each country to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement.
In such a scenario, bioenergy in combination with other renewables should play a crucial role.
COP22 at Marrakech is promoted as time for action. However, the progress is very slow. With the current rate of emissions, the world will use up its carbon budget in the next 20 years. Some countries are still investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure which will create lock-in effects for many years. Fossil fuel subsidies still exist and policy incentives for renewables are not being promoted at the required pace. The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC’s) are insufficient to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement.
However, there is also a lot of positive news. The cost of renewables is falling rapidly and in some countries, they are cheaper than fossil fuels. There are many success stories from countries, provinces, cities, villages etc. where renewables working together are demonstrating a low carbon energy society which is environmentally friendly, economically viable and socially acceptable. There are certain key areas to consider for the delegates to ensure a more rapid transition:
- Carbon tax is key instrument: Creating a carbon tax in each country is the most efficient way to apply polluters pay principle to the climate issue. It is the simplest way to reduce fossil fuels, improve energy efficiency and make renewables more competitive.
- Change perception from greening fossils to removing fossil fuels: A fossil exit strategy for all countries with a managed reduction of fossil fuels is absolutely critical.
- Stop relying on unproven technologies: Technologies like clean coal and carbon capture etc. will only increase fossil fuels use and will not assist in climate issue. These fossil technologies are expensive, only exist in pilot plant level, not commercially viable and it is dangerous to depend on such unproven technologies.
- No new investment in fossil fuel infrastructure: Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure, for e.g. natural gas pipelines will create lock in effects and stranded assets. They should be avoided.
- Stop fossil fuel subsidies: Fossil fuel subsidies have to be phased out gradually.
- Promote all renewable energy technologies: All renewable energy technologies including solar, geothermal, hydro, bioenergy and wind in all regions and countries should be developed rapidly according to their specific regional potentials.
The delegates of each government should send the right signals to investors, markets, civil society, businesses that they are serious about what they intended when they ratified the Paris agreement. The world needs a positive declaration that we need to act now!
World Bioenergy Association
11th November 2016