A number of years ago, I had the privilege to speak at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), a global body comprising members of the national parliaments of 178 of the 193 UN Member States. (Their latest assembly took place in October 2022 in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.)
At that event, I made friends with a French politician. He pinged me yesterday. We started talking about the politics of renewable energy in France. He asked for my counsel. This is what I replied:
It’s sad that the response to Climate Change has become a political issue. It’s like asking scientists to decide what to do about national defense. Politicians may be smart people, but they are not the group that best understands Climate Change. Perhaps when Climate Change kills the wine industry, politicians in France will understand the urgency. Unfortunately, then it will be too late.
The most important step we take forward to combat climate change is ending the use of dirty energy. It’s not about which renewable energy source we end up using. It’s about ending the use of carbon-based fuels. The decision that will best serve all of us is to go 100% renewable energy by 2045. This should be a decision made by the people and their representatives.
But their representatives need to understand the science driving the need for change — and the representatives can’t be tied to special interest groups representing the dirty energy that we need to jettison. How to achieve this goal should be left to the engineers, the scientists, and the entrepreneurs.
How do we [Blue Planet Alliance] know this? Because we’ve already done it! We helped Hawaii become the first U.S. state to mandate a legislative transition to 100% renewable energy by 2045. Then we helped three other island countries make the same commitment: Guam, Palau, and Tonga.
And how did we do that? Well, it wasn’t easy — but it should have been. Because the utility, which at first was our greatest impediment to success, has now become our best friend. And that’s because they’re making more money now with renewables than they were before with dirty fuel.
As a result of all this, the utility has announced that they can achieve 100% even earlier than 2045 — by 2040. And they are behaving like they are going to do it by 2035.
So I’m asking France — and every country — to take the first step. Decide. Make the decision to go 100% by 2045.
John F. Kennedy just decided that we should go to the moon. Engineers figured out how to do it.
We are doing this!!
For more content from Blue Planet Alliance founder Henk Rogers, please visit https://blueplanetalliance.org/news