Washington, DC -- In a letter dated December 18, 2009, Michael Eckhart, President of the American Council On Renewable Energy sent his congratulations to President Obama for brokering a global agreement to limit global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius. While ACORE had hoped that world governments would have also been able to agree on mechanisms to achieve such a goal at the COP-15 meeting in Copenhagen, Eckhart stated that, "We are satisfied that, at least, governments have agreed to the overarching goal of not allowing global warming to exceed a limit of two degrees Celsius. This is where all else starts, with agreement on the outcome goal."
The 2 degree limitation agreement came at the end of the often-contentious COP15 Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen and involved late hours of conferring and behind-the-scenes negotiations. "We applaud President Obama's wisdom is achieving an agreement on the aspirational goal, limiting the outcome which we all care about, because this will stand to rule all else that comes in future negotiations," Eckhart wrote.
As he extended his compliments to Premier Wen of China, Prime Minister Singh of India, President Lula of Brazil, and President Zuma of South Africa, and the other leaders who negotiated the agreement, Eckhart added, "I have worked in these four countries, and know that they are honestly working towards viable climate commitments, no different that the U.S. is doing."
Eckhart went on to challenge the signatories to the Copenhagen Accord, saying: "There is much work to be done to put programs in place in every country to deliver on the goal of limiting climate change to two degrees Celsius and we challenge the U.S. and other governments not to rest one minute before getting on with those commitments. The goal will not be achieved just because President Obama and his peers said so -- actions will speak louder than words."
"Renewable energy will deliver on one-third of this goal, working alongside energy efficiency and protection of the rainforests. Together, these three strategies can protect the Earth and Society as we know it from the destructive effects of global warming."
"ACORE calls on the United States to do three things: make a national commitment to adopting renewable energy to meaningful levels of 25% by the year 2025 and more thereafter, increase the level of renewable energy technology investment to ten times the historical level, and put mechanisms in place to facilitate the flow of $100 billion/year of private sector captial investment in renewable energy projects in the U.S. and $500 billion/year globally," Eckhart went on to say.
"Wind power; solar energy; geothermal energy; hydropower and ocean power; biomass energy, fuels and products; and waste-energy all have the potential to deliver the results ACORE has promised - one-third of the goal."
In ending his letter to the President, Eckhart said, "With your leadership, we have a start. ACORE calls on us all to build on the agreement you have negotiated and to do so quickly, decisively, and completely."
The next opportunity for leaders in renewable energy and climate change to meet and plan how to achieve the goal will be at the RETECH 2010 Conference & Exhibition ( www.retech2010.com ) in Washington, DC, February 3-5, 2010.
"We can't wait until another summit in Mexico City a year from now to take the next steps," said Eckhart. "We must begin now to ensure the world's future by building renewable energy systems on a global scale, starting with the United States." The RETECH 2010 conference will provide a platform for U.S. leaders in renewable energy to work together to plan the way forward.