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Wednesday 25th April 2012 | 18:30
World Wildlife Fund press release
WWF today hosted a press conference at the Foreign Office with Ministers from the UK, Denmark and Germany. Broad cast quality footage and images of this morning's press conference are available on request.
Speaking at the start of the Clean Energy Ministerial, taking place in London this week, Samantha Smith, leader of the Global Climate and Energy Initiative at WWF-International, who accompanied David Cameron to the Arctic some six years ago to witness the impacts of climate change first hand, said that without major investment in renewable energy the world risked lock-in to high-carbon infrastructure for decades to come.
Samantha Smith, who was speaking alongside UK Climate Change Minister Greg Barker and ministers from Denmark and Germany , said: “The International Energy Agency warned this morning that failure to invest urgently in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies could lock the world into temperature increases of up to 6˚C, substantially above the global goal to prevent temperature rises of more than 2˚C. To address this threat, decarbonising our energy systems and moving towards renewable forms of energy is an absolute necessity.”
“But it is also an opportunity too. WWF research shows that a large-scale transition to renewable energy globally can be done with today’s technology, to provide energy for the entire world’s population.
“Countries like Mexico, which recently followed the UK and Scotland’s lead in passing a climate law, can see that ending poverty and growing their economy will be much harder unless the threat of climate change is addressed. What’s needed now is for countries like the US and Canada to follow their lead and embrace renewable energy too.”
Ministers from Denmark and Germany stressed the urgency with which investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency had to be made. They also explained that the ambitious national renewable energy and energy efficiency targets set by both countries for 2020 and beyond would help them be early movers in new clean energy technologies and reap the substantial economic growth benefits which come with international leadership.
Greg Barker, UK Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: “We are committed to ensuring the UK meets its 2050 climate objective, which has been designed to limit global temperature increases to around 2 degrees. In order to reduce our emissions by 80% by 2050, we need to accelerate progress in the development of clean energy technologies.
“This week we will be signing a number of agreements with visiting Ministers, and encouraging the private sector to bring forward investments to help develop renewables, energy efficiency and entrepreneurship at a faster rate”.