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COP-16: Wind power industry wants “urgent progress” in Cancún

Wind power can and must make a significant contribution to saving the climate, according to international wind industry representatives at the Global Wind Energy Council´s (GWEC) ‘Wind Power for a Low Carbon Economy’ conference at COP-16 in Cancún, Mexico.

Wind power could produce more than 12% of the electricity needed globally by 2020, saving 10 billion tons of CO2 in the process, or 1.5 billion tons per year. This would represent more than half of the emissions reductions envisaged by industrialised countries in their pledges to the Copenhagen Accord, GWEC says.

“The climate change agenda has to be seen as an economic and business opportunity at the same time as a driver to preserve the global environment,” says Bruno Ferrari, Mexican Secretary of Economy.

“Wind power generation provides economic, social and environmental profits. Mexico is committed to taking advantage of them through a local development strategy.”

Mexico has an estimated wind power potential of 71 GW that could satisfy all the electricity needs in the country.

“The wind industry stands ready to play its part as a key solution to combating climate change, and a leader of the energy revolution our planet urgently needs,” adds Carmen Becerril, President, Acciona Energia SA.

“But it cannot fulfil its full mitigation potential without unambiguous political commitment from the decision makers gathered here in Cancún.”

In the declaration, leaders of the global wind power industry call on decision makers to take urgent action to avert dangerous climate change, and to substantially raise their pledges for reducing emissions. They call for action in three areas:

1. Make progress towards a robust climate agreement

The global wind energy industry urgently calls for decision makers in Cancún to make rapid progress on negotiating an ambitious and legally binding international agreement to meet the 2°C limit set out by the Copenhagen Accord. Failure to deliver on the key outstanding issues will significantly undermine investment in clean energy technologies and other concrete action on mitigation.

This agreement must move us gradually towards a global price on carbon, to enable the private sector to play its key role in financing the energy revolution.

2. Raise your pledges

The 2020 pledges made by industrialised countries under the Copenhagen Accord fall a long way short of the emissions reductions required for averting dangerous climate change, and the level of ambition needs to be increased towards the upper end of the range of 25-40% emissions reductions below 1990 levels.

Industrialised countries can and must review their pledges for reduction targets and raise them very substantially, as well as assisting developing countries’ often ambitious programmes to decarbonise their electricity systems with both public finance and private investment through the carbon markets.

3. Recognise the potential of wind power for achieving substantial cuts

Wind energy is already making a significant contribution to reduce emissions in both industrialised and developing countries, and by 2020, substantial savings of CO2 can be achieved. Under a new 2020 climate agreement, wind energy alone will provide for a significant portion of the emissions reductions.

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