Academic journal article Competition Forum

The Green Energy Sector

Academic journal article Competition Forum

The Green Energy Sector

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

In recent years, the media has been reporting on global warming and the impact it has had on the environment. The media has presented the environmental crisis as the biggest challenge mankind has to deal with and highlighted that urgent action is needed. This hype surrounding global warming has led to a unique international consensus between countries. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was signed, developing new economic tools for a global approach of the problem, political parties endorsing environmental values emerged everywhere, green became a very hip marketing label and multinationals all over the world fought for an eco-friendly image. After wars and divisions marked the 20th century, it looked as if the 21st century would see a worldwide alliance through the common fight to save the planet.

However, in 2008, the subprime bubble burst causing an economic crisis here in the U.S. Since that time, the global focus has been directed on the world?s economies, which has taken precedence over the environment:

- European summits that were scheduled to be all about environmental issues turned out to be entirely devoted to the Euro-crisis

- The Copenhagen convention, for which many had very high expectations, failed to come up with new measures as governments were shy to make commitments with no certainty about their financial situation

- The world?s finances gave the media a new bottomless subject to discuss, which overshadowed economic issues

The energy sector was most largely hit by the environmental trend. In 2009, renewable energy investments proved to constitute 62% of the energy generation investments in the European Union (European Commission, 2011). The European Union (EU) has taken up the role of leader in the area of sustainable development worldwide and European politics are a driving force behind a green revolution in the energy sector. European decisions and measures to move towards the objective of 20% renewable energy production by 2020 where a comprehensive and binding regulatory framework has been a catalyst in driving forward renewable energy development to achieve the ambitious targets that the EU has set for itself.

This paper explores the global warming issue, renewable energy investments, biomass as a renewable energy source as well as an explanation of climate change by responding to the following questions:

1. What is the problem?

2. What are the causes?

3. What could be the consequences?

Worldwide environmental problems have remained unsolved. While the financial crisis might have pushed the environmental crisis to the back of our common minds, this delay could backfire in a few years if global efforts aren?t maintained.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

In 1988, in an effort by the United Nations (UN) to provide the world?s governments with a clear scientific view of what was happening with the world?s climate, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC became the leading international body for the assessment of climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. It is widely considered to be the definitive authority on the science of climate change and in 2007 it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The IPCC (n.d.) embodies a unique opportunity to provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision makers. The work of the organization is therefore ?policy-relevant and yet policy-neutral, never policy-prescriptive.? Political decisions linked to climate related policies are often based on the conclusions of the IPCC.

Measuring the Evolution of the Earth Temperature

The longest series of monthly temperature observations in existence is the ?Central England Temperature Record,? which gives the monthly mean surface air temperatures in Celsius degrees from the year 1659 to the present. …

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