Rather than talk about the doom and gloom of climate change, I think it is better to approach it as a massive opportunity. There are already many low-carbon solutions capable of competing economically and technically with fossil fuels.
Wind and solar energy costs are on par with fossil fuels in some diesel-thirsty regions, solar modules have dropped in price by 80% since 2008, LED lights are 85% cheaper than five years ago and the recent push for clean technologies, such as electric cars, are reinforcing the drive towards their competiveness.
Businesses can embrace renewable energy technologies and remain profitable today. RMI’s decades of energy-system expertise combined with Carbon War Room’s bold entrepreneurial approach will bring these low-carbon technologies to the attention of industries and carry the technologies to a tipping point where choosing anything but the clean option won’t make good business sense.
Already Carbon War Room and RMI have combined forces to launch the Caribbean Ten Island Challenge. The Challenge is underway in Aruba, the Bahamas, Colombia, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Turks and Caicos.
It aims to build renewable energy projects and transform the islands’ energy system from one dependent on expensive imported diesel to a cleaner and more cost-effective one relying on renewable sources. The Challenge hasn’t finished but hopefully by 2016 the islands will have reduced their dependence on fossil fuels by a quarter.
Further initiatives are underway in industries including trucking, cement and energy-efficient buildings to make these sectors cleaner as well.
I am thrilled to be working in partnership with Amory Lovins and have the greatest respect for what he has built with Rocky Mountain Institute. Hopefully the partnership between RMI and Carbon War Room will inspire many more not for profits to join forces and I look forward to having other partners join us in this effort.