Le Bourget (France) (AFP) – World powers led a frenetic final push Friday to seal a UN accord aimed at averting catastrophic climate change, as sleep-deprived envoys battled in Paris over trillion-dollar disputes blocking a deal. The 195-nation conference in Paris had been scheduled to wrap up on Friday, delivering a historic agreement that would brake global warming and ease its impacts. But weary negotiators braced themselves for a third straight round of all-night haggling after ministers wrestled with a myriad of deal-busting rows. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he would submit a proposed final agreement on Saturday morning, and declared he was “sure” of success. “We are almost at the end of the road and I am optimistic,” said Fabius, who is presiding over the talks that began nearly a fortnight ago with a record summit of more than 150 world leaders. Many leaders billed the talks as the last chance to avert disastrous climate change: increasingly severe drought, floods and storms, as well as rising seas that would engulf islands and populated coasts. The planned accord would seek to revolutionise the world’s energy system by cutting back or potentially eliminating coal and other fossil fuels, replacing them with renewables such as solar and wind. The Paris talks have largely been free of the fierce arguments that have plagued previous UN climate conferences. But the biggest disputes over funding the climate fight, worth trillions of dollars over the decades to come, remain as potential deal-breakers in a draft accord released on Thursday night. – Success not guaranteed –
Guest Post by John Morgan. John is Chief Scientist at a Sydney startup developing smart grid and grid scale energy storage technologies. You can follow John on twitter at @JohnDPMorgan.
The fastest path to decarbonization would seem to be combining every kind of low carbon energy available – the so-called “all of the above” camp of clean energy advocacy. The argument runs that different kinds of clean energy are complementary and we should build as much of each as we can manage. This is not in fact the case, and I’ll show that a mix of wind and solar significantly decreases the total share of energy that all renewables can capture. The “all of the above” approach to emissions reduction needs to be reconsidered.
In a recent essay Breakthrough Institute writers Jesse Jenkins and Alex Trembath have described a simple limit on the maximum contribution of wind and solar energy:
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