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The Global Energy Discussion Continues

Mon, Dec 13, 2010

Global Best Practices

The global energy discussion has been even more in the forefront of our minds as the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference comes to an end in Cancun, Mexico. Recently an article that appeared in The Wall Street Journal titled How to Change the Global Energy Crisis took a look at some possible solutions and roadblocks on the ongoing debate.

The article emphatically states that the solution to the world’s climate problems cannot be found in the conference room of the UN where smaller nations spar off against larger ones and a good solution is often not agreed upon.  Instead, it looks at alternatives that countries could begin to enact now. The authors argue that countries need to stop subsidizing industries that pollute and are slow to innovate. The emphasis should focus instead on how to make clean energy cheaper and more within the reach of industries, and even countries, that pollute heavily through outdated technology.

The authors also say that if governments work harder on supporting innovation and technology that works and is sustainable, then the technology will become more affordable in the future and go the way of computer chips which were priced well out of the pocketbooks of the average citizen and just used by the Pentagon in the ´60’s, yet are now placed in everything from phones to cameras.

The article later says that countries with infant clean-technology industries will initially have to protect them, but should not do so selfishly, as the technology will be advantageous and attractive to all markets. Therefore, one of the best solutions is to launch it as it becomes available.

In the end, the only obvious solution is for governments to work quickly to promote their fledging clean-tech industries while simultaneously discouraging reliance on technology that pollutes. Government need to consider clean technology as a ‘public good’ instead of a private industry and that way the technology can become affordable and find its way into our daily lives.

By Sara Beck. Sara is an MBA student and loves to travel. She blogs at www.sarabeck.wordpress.com.

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