Thursday, 15 October 2009

Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change

Copenhagen: our solutions

A casual glance at the daily newspapers here suggests that Copenhagen is all about expression of dissent, discontent and in general dissonance when it should ideally be about collective resolve and affirmative action in the context of climate change.

Of course Copenhagen is about reducing emissions globally but it is also about equitable and efficient use of energy, use as different from abuse in the developed world and misuse in the developing world. Forecasts suggest that with population growth, there would be progressively more energy poor people. 2 billion people mostly in the developing world depend on traditional fuels (wood etc.) for cooking and heating. Fortunately the fuel of the poor is also a zero GHG fuel. Unfortunately their cook stove is so inefficient that they cannot argue their case for sustainability of biomass use and leverage their contribution to global emission reduction unless they move to an energy efficient stove.

A quick back of the envelope calculation shows that these two billion people are consuming at least 1.2 million tons of biomass everyday for cooking. Fuel efficient stoves have the potential to reduce cooking energy needs by half. But this would require collective resolve among policy makers globally and deep thought by the policy implementers on the ground. If the rhetoric of the past has not translated into a symphony with visible relief to the poor, it is because musicians with different talents have not been a part of the orchestra.

If Copenhagen can highlight the need for energy efficient solutions for wood fuel based cooking needs and direct that planners, technology developers, supply chain creators, financiers, implementers, thinkers to come together for an equitable, clean, green, healthy, cooking energy solution, then Copenhagen would have delivered a strong message.
Written by Svati Bhogle, TIDE - a 2008 Ashden Award winner

1 comment:

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