Over the past year, the enormity of the changes planet earth is undergoing has entered our collective consciousness. As fossil fuel use creeps up, emission concentrations rise and rainforests are denuded in ever greater numbers world-wide, due to a global gluttony in palm oil, beef and the cultivation of biofuel crops on an industrial scale. This must stop, and abruptly so – as the situation in Europe alone shows unmistakeably. Soils and water bodies are drying out increasingly all across the continent.
If there has ever been a time to declare a pan European climate and energy emergency: this is it.
The meteorologically unusual fossil drought makes it clear that the time has been long overdue for the implementation of the existentially essential renewable energies. The alarm has been ringing for a long time, and is now approaching a deafening crescendo: 100% renewables lies as safely achievable goal already behind us: we are very late. This means that the transition from fossil and nuclear to renewable resources must be a major collective project of rapid, even abrupt change – accompanied by global agricultural reforms, regeneration campaigns ending the rule of industrial beef and palm oil production as well as massive reafforestation. Governments have to embrace renewable emergency programs, phasing out climate killing exploitation of resources like the poison they are.
Wither the fossil legacy: we shall overcome
Around the globe the very poorest are displaced in ever greater numbers – driven from their farms and settlements by accelerating climate change: drying soils, evaporating water resources and scorched crops. Some wealthy countries shut their borders and others clamp down on internal unrest. Ironically, the rising fossil fuel emissions from these countries are still at the root of the massive world-wide climate destabilisation crisis. The other side of this coin looks equally genocidal: An arc of violence spans across the globe – wreaked by the strong and industrialised on the poor and disenfranchised, designed to secure hydrocarbon and uranium resources. Natural gas and oil supply interests helped trigger armed conflicts in Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Sudan and a host of other countries and communities – while more recent and equally dangerous hydrocarbon tensions rise between industrialised powers elsewhere, from the China Sea to the Ukraine.
The only winners are multinational conglomerates, complicit governments and global weapons industries. Yet these are needlessly distracting and destructive battles: the world has been proven to be able to run better and safer on renewable, local and ubiquitous energies. Humanity’s freedom depends on a freedom based energy future. As Europe’s largest independent, whole-of-economy, whole-of-society focused renewable energy policy organisation EUROSOLAR represents sections all across continental Europe from Spain in the west to Georgia and Russia in the East. We believe in Regenerative Energy for all as an essential human right in an energy freedom and peace focused world.
United for Europe’s future
The way from a fossil-fuelled Europe into the solar age is also a journey of democratisation. For distributed renewable energies signify energy democracy and community energy. This is what we call for: A Europe that is going to change from the bottom to the top in order to implement and accelerate this movement. Smart solar power is the fast lane to a renewable Europe – a revolution that is not just urgent but 20 years overdue. Ubiquitous, continent covering Renewable Citizen Energy Communities will be a powerful innovation – combining the proposed EU Directives of equally limited Renewable and Citizen Energy Communities into one bold model for all of Europe – ending the yoke of Europe’s fossil and nuclear past.
The grassroots are ready, and so are growing parts of the innovational technological and financial elite. The international movement of school strikes for climate – Friday’s for Future – is backed by tens of thousands of scientists, entrepreneurs and parents around the globe. Young people from all over Europe overcome their differences – in the very spirit of the European Union which is “United in diversity” – and stand together for the greater good. This historic movement reminds us of the initial raison d’être of the European Union: Peace, at its time provided by the sharing of French and German coal and steel production. Now a new era has dawned: With joint forces, we can overcome the destructive fossil order and create a future that is worth living.
While still far too timid and nuclear and fossil-fuel focused, European renewable energy and climate targets are increasingly pursued in one highly promising direction expressed in the directives and various funding programs encouraging cities and regions to advance renewable energy communities. For what we should wish and work for ourselves and above all for the younger generations – and what they are entitled to – is a mature, authentic and resilient Europe –founded on Renewable Energy – a call that is now a desperate emergency signal, for emergency measures such a
- 100% renewable energy introduction immediately as a national emergency program and an existential prerequisite
- Prohibition of coal combustion and radical mining of oil and natural gas use
- Phasing out of pseudo-renewable biomass use (forest and peat burning)
- Use of wood and carbon products in construction and other areas of industrial production to sequester atmospheric carbon
- Voluntary rationalization, reduction, flattening of consumption and economic activity trajectories
- End of forest clearing and peat destruction: reforestation, protection and expansion of moors
- Introduction of organic farming, ban on meat production in clearing areas
Prof. Peter Droege, president of EUROSOLAR, 29 November 2019