If an international treaty to cut carbon emissions hasn't worked how about using the opposite approach?
Instead of focusing on "eliminating the bad" perhaps a shift toward "increasing the good" can accomplish the same goals.
10 countries have formed an international "Renewables Club" to scale renewable energy worldwide.
Proposed by Peter Altmaier, Germany's environment minister, founding members are: China, India, UK, Denmark, France, Germany, Morocco, South Africa, Tonga and United Arab Emirates.
"As members of the Club we aim to lead by example," says Altmaier. "The Renewables Club is a political initiative of pioneering countries that are united by an important goal: a worldwide transformation of the energy system.
"We are determined to work together as advocates and implementers of renewable energy at a global level," he says.
Notice the absence of the US.
These 10 countries represent over 40% of global investments in renewable energy.
Members are mostly energy ministers, the same people that attend the annual Clean Energy Ministerial Meetings, organized by the US to accelerate the transition to clean energy.
At this year's meeting, the International Energy Agency warned,
"Despite much talk by
world leaders, and despite a boom in renewable energy over the last decade, the
average unit of energy produced today is basically as dirty as it was 20 years
Thus, the formation of the Renewables Club, which will work through the International Renewable
Energy Agency (IRENA).
At this first meeting, ministers signed a communique pledging to accelerate the transformation to renewable energy.
The next meeting is January 2014 in the United Arab
Here are excerpts from the communique:
"We recognize that the current energy system as it stands right now poses risks to the climate, environment, poverty eradication, energy security and development, in particular in most vulnerable countries.
We are convinced that renewable energy, including transmission and interconnection infrastructures, is an essential part of the solution to the existential challenges we are facing and the means to transform the path to sustainability.
We stress that renewable energy has entered into a virtuous circle of falling costs, increasing deployment and accelerated technological progress, renewable energy technologies now representing economical choices in an increasing number
of countries and regions.
We note that, in spite of these positive developments, significant barriers still exist which can be overcome with innovative thinking, sound investments, new solutions and decisive action.
We also recognize that high-level political support is indispensable in strengthening the role of renewable energy as an increasingly important source of our future supply and in supporting its integration into energy systems.
We, the Ministers of the countries that have been at the forefront
of the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies, therefore agree to launch a high-level political alliance to advance the case of renewable energy in particular the objectives and programmes of IRENA.
We agree to continue our role as agenda-setters in accelerating the deployment of renewable energy and to promote it as a key underpinning of economic growth, social prosperity and
environmental stability by:
- Supporting, including at the highest levels, the implementation of robust policies and
setting conducive enabling environments for a greater use of renewable energy, thereby shaping investments and unleashing new business opportunities
- Sending a strong political message of support for renewable energy's business case;
- Promoting renewable energy as one of the important elements of energy security, economic prosperity and sustainable development.
Hopefully, this group will go beyond symbolism to action.
Here is the communique: