, The Guardian
By

Live Q&A: what does a global carbon-cutting deal look like?

Ahead of the UN Climate Summit to take place in New York next week, Martin Schoenberg, Head of Policy of CCC and CCC's ThinkTank, joined a panel of experts in a live Q&A chat hosted by The Guardian and sponsored by WWF.

We need to level the playing field between renewable energy and fossil fuels, says Dr Kandeh Yumkella, chief executive of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, ahead of the UN summit on climate change on 23 September.

"Remember that today other energy technologies enjoy $500bn a year of subsidies. How much went into renewables? $80bn.”

The panel discussed what do governments need to do to divest from fossil fuels and scale up renewable energy? How can financial institutions support the global transition to low carbon societies? Ultimately, how would a global commitment to carbon divestment work? Can it work?

Some of the comments made by Martin and other panelists include:

"There are push- and pull-factors for getting out of high-carbon assets. Renewable energy is already competitive with new high-carbon plants in most major markets, and as it becomes even more affordable, investors will shift further towards low-carbon investment. The risks involved in high-carbon assets are becoming more and more obvious and will lead to a rapid shift towards a climate-friendly economy."

Martin Schoenberg - Climate Change Capital

"I'd like to follow up on David's point about fossil fuels and climate. The scientific evidence is very clear: Most emissions are now coming from burning fossil fuels. If we want to fight climate change, we have to get out of fossil fuels."

Samantha Smith - WWF

"Putting a price on carbon - either directly through carbon trading or carbon taxes, or indirectly through energy efficiency standards for products are obvious steps for governments to take."

Damian Ryan - The Climate Group

"We need a commitments that will phase out rather than manage emissions, and action that reflects the rapid transformation in renewable technologies. Denmark's target of 100% electricity and heat in the next 20 years is a good example."

Nathan Argent - Greenpeace New Zealand

"There are all sorts of opportunities for countries to take action on climate that are completely compatible with their own short-medium term self interest. National commitments to mitigate will be mostly likely to be implemented if they can be done so by taking actions which also have other benefits. E.g. reducing air pollution, stimulating innovation, improving energy security etc."

Sarah Chapman - Global Commission on the Economy and Climate

View the story in full on The Guardian's website

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