—– Original Message —–
Greenpeace and Renewable Energy
Industry Call for Energy Revolution
11 May 2009 (Ottawa) – Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) released a new report today detailing a revolutionary green energy scenario for Canada that could cut this country’s greenhouse gas emissions dramatically by 2020.
The report, entitled Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable Canada Energy Outlook, concludes that available green energy technology, if implemented immediately, can reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the Canadian energy sector 45 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 82 per cent by 2050.
The report, prepared by Greenpeace and based on modeling by the German Aerospace Agency, takes a comprehensive look at the latest in Canada-specific solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining economic growth for the new century – without coal or nuclear power. Greenpeace released the report at a launch event for newsmakers in Ottawa this morning.
“Our Energy [R]evolution scenario is a win-win for the environment and the economy. It shows how to save money and maintain economic development without fueling catastrophic climate change,” said Sven Teske, Greenpeace International’s Director of Renewable Energy and co-author of the report. “We have the technology and we have the blueprint – now Canada needs the political leadership.”
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), developed countries must reduce emissions by at least 25 to 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 to avoid the worst impacts of global warming. Recent research indicates that even greater emission reductions will be necessary—reductions that could be achieved by implementing the Energy [R]evolution.
“Canada has vast renewable energy potential that can replace dirty, dangerous and polluting fossil fuel and nuclear,” said Christine Lins, Secretary-General of EREC, the world’s largest industry association for renewable energy. “Canada is not a green leader. The Energy [R]evolution shows how it can be.”
The study demonstrates the viability of a green energy path. The Energy [R]evolution scenario uses currently available technology, and is based on a reference scenario from the International Energy Agency. The Energy [R]evolution concludes:
o Efficiency measures would save Canadians $5.9 billion on their electricity bills in 2020;
o By 2020, about 25 per cent of Canada’s primary energy demand could be supplied by renewable energy, rising to about 58 per cent by 2050. Today, about 75 per cent of Canada’s primary energy supply comes from fossil fuels, and only 15 per cent from renewables;
o Aggressive energy efficiency measures would reduce primary energy demand 50 per cent by 2050;
o Increased use of combined heat and power (CHP) would dramatically improve the efficiency of natural gas in the transition to a sustainable energy system;
o By 2020, over 80 per cent of electricity would be produced from renewable energy sources, and over 90 per cent by 2050;
o Renewable energy would increase in final energy demand from 17 per cent in 2005 to 31 per cent in 2020 and to 71 per cent in 2050; and
o There would be aggressive efficiency improvements in the transport sector, with electric vehicles playing an increasingly important role from 2020 onwards.
To implement the Energy [R]evolution scenario, Greenpeace supports the KYOTO-plus target of a minimum 25 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2020; an end to all fossil fuel and nuclear subsidies; mandatory efficiency standards for vehicles, buildings and appliances; and binding targets with feed-in tariff programs for renewable energy.
“Canada needs to be part of the solution to global warming, not part of the problem,” said David Martin, Climate and Energy Coordinator for Greenpeace Canada and co-author of the report. “Canada lags far behind the rest of the world. Now is the time to move forward aggressively on a green energy future. It’s time for Canada to join the [R]evolution.”
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Editors: Interviews can be arranged with Sven Teske, Dave Martin and Christine Lins.
For more information, please contact
Alex Paterson, Media & Public Relations Officer, (416) 524-8496
Dave Martin, Climate & Energy Coordinator, (416) 627-5004