Give Solar Energy 50 Billion Boost

Give Solar Energy $50 Billion Boost

While the United States and Canada still have not ratifyied the
Kyoto Protocol, the rest of the developed world is forging ahead to
develop renewable energy sources. At the recent World Summit on
Sustainable Development, Mikhail Gorbachev’s international
environment group Green Cross recommended the development of a $50
billion fund to promote solar energy, reports Alanna Mitchell in
Toronto Globe & Mail.

The plan would encourage the developed world to reduce coal, oil
and gas usage, which would lower greenhouse gas emissions caused by
burning fossil fuels. But the primary target is the United States,
Green Cross’ ‘biggest obstacle’ to any major step forward to clean
energy.

‘There is a certain culture in place in Washington which
continually has its view of the future blocked by an oil-drilling
rig,’ said U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a member of the
American delegation to the Summit.

The money for the fund would come from subsidies already paid to
coal, oil, gas, and nuclear energy — estimated by the World Bank
at $210 billion a year in direct financial aid, tax breaks and loan
guarantees. These subsidies would be used as an initial investment
in renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic cells, hydrogen,
wind, and geothermal energy. Once the startup costs have been paid,
production costs would be lowered, eventually ensuring that 20
percent of the world’s energy is derived from clean, renewable
sources.
–Rebecca Wienbar
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