There is no stronger incentive than having a clean(er) alternative that is actually cheaper.
Just aiming at reducing emissions, without any consideration of the ability of our industries to compete on a global basis, may result in a lack of public support for necessary measures (doing more harm than good in the long term).
Many people in the oil and gas industry look at the Energiewende as a total failure, given that it did not make electricity generation in Germany any cleaner or more affordable (and did not make its supply any safer).
This implies that there is always a strong incentive to cheat.
Thirdly, oil and gas producing countries have a strong interest in the continued use of fossil fuels and they will continue promoting and subsidising them. Fourthly, the benefits of economic progress (with an associated energy consumption increase) for undeveloped countries are real.
From 1990 to 2005 Britain’s CO2 emissions went down by 15%, the CO2 emitted by producing all the products consumed in Britain increased by 19% however.
The increasing divergence between “produced “and “consumed” CO2 is a European-wide phenomenon (be it that for the EU 27 as a whole it is less pronounced than for Britain).So let us subsidise technologies without being dogmatic.Whether it is solar, wind, CCS, “new” nuclear, electric or hydrogen vehicles, energy storage, ways of increasing efficiencies of conventional technologies, etc.Learning and economies of scale will reduce cost, as they have most successfully done for solar.Let us also find the best compromise between reducing emissions, security of supply and affordability.Energy-intensive industries are migrating to low-cost energy countries. where a rapid increase in low-cost shale gas production has resulted in a long term reduction of electricity prices; a significant competitive advantage for any U. Global warming concerns people in undeveloped countries as well but when asked to rank issues it comes out last (way below security, food, education, health and energy and transport related issues).A significant and growing part of Saudi Arabia’s oil production is used for local industries (petrochemicals, metal processing), generating a second income stream in addition to oil production. In fact it comes out near the bottom of the list in most countries except for the most highly developed ones. In all likelihood the emission reductions needed to limit CO2 levels to those in line with the COP21 targets will not be met.It is easier to promise than to deliver – especially if deliverance is scheduled far ahead in the future.In spite of all earlier efforts the shares of fossil fuels and renewables (hydro, wind, solar) in the global primary energy mix have remained virtually unchanged over the last 20 years (at approximately 80% and 3% respectively). Global warming is too important to put all our eggs in one basket.The seminal 2006 paper by Noble prize winner Paul Crutzen presents the case for albedo enhancement while explicitly advocating more research.I feel Crutzen’s implicit message was to warn people that this is the future if we do not start to reduce emissions drastically (and stir governments into action on reducing emissions – by far his preferred road ahead).