Political Leadership & Values

Li Keqiang in Paris

Li Keqiang in Paris

Tom Randall writing on the Bloomberg Business website states that ‘The shift to renewables is happening shockingly fast, but not fast enough to prevent perilous levels of global warming.’ So while we need to celebrate the achievements of the global renewable energy technologies we need to do something even more profound than merely change the energy that fuels the global economy: we need a shift in values. We need a much stronger push for peace and cooperation, a shift from an economic system based on individual greed to one based on meeting real human needs and a much greater degree of political engagement and leadership.

This shift in values needs to happen globally, but let’s look at one key country: China. The Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was in Paris earlier this week to unveil Chinese plans for carbon reductions. These plans see emissions peaking around 2030. This is far too late. The next big United Nations Climate Change conference will be taking place in Paris between 30th November and 11th December. What could China do to raise its game? China, like most other countries is investing heavily in renewables, but it needs to do so much more. Currently military tensions are rising in the South China Sea as China builds islands to increase its territorial waters, much to the annoyance of the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, USA and others. Instead all these countries need to cooperate to jointly develop offshore renewables and natural gas fields as Stewart Taggart of Grenatec suggests. Even more challengingly there will need to be a shift away from headlong pursuit of personal consumption on behalf of the rapidly growing affluent people in China, as in the rest of the World. Statements on peaceful economic cooperation, demilitarisation and on curtailing hyper consumption would be a useful start. Then the challenge would be to deliver!

All this of course was what the Papal Encyclical was about. Now it is time for the political leaders of the World to step up to the plate.


Bloomberg on Renewables and Climate http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-23/the-way-humans-get-electricity-is-about-to-change-forever

Grenatec South China Sea Proposal http://grenatec.com/?p=13371