European Parliament Forum, March 2013
In March of 2013, the Climate Parliament held the latest in its series of parliamentary fora on renewable energy, bringing together over 160 legislators, development experts and NGO representatives for an urgent dialogue on international cooperation to promote renewable energy, expand access to electricity for the world’s poor, and accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels.
Some sixty MPs from across Africa, Asia and Europe were joined by high-level representatives of some of the world’s largest multilateral and bi-lateral aid agencies, international investment banks and development NGOs. In total, some 160 delegates attended the conference.
You can read the full summary report on the event here.
The list of participating agencies was impressive - represented at the Forum were the African Development Bank, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the International Energy Agency, the International Renewable Energy Agency, the OECD, the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Environment Programme – not to mention the numerous charities, non-profits and research groups who came and contributed their invaluable expertise and experience to the discussions.
Innumerable different topics were covered over the course of the two days. Firstly, the Forum reaffirmed a fact that has been stressed by numerous energy experts: renewable energy is already close to out-competing fossil fuels on the open market. Indeed, in some parts of the world, it already does so. Analysts believe that a five-year policy push could get renewable energy to the point where it could outcompete fossil fuels on price – without subsidies. All that is required is political will.
Although making the transition to renewable energy will not be easy, parliamentarians are in a unique position to take action. Elected legislators are the one group of people in the world who have all the levers they need to solve the climate problem: they vote on laws, taxes and budgets, oversee the operations of government, and have direct access to Ministers, Prime Ministers and Presidents.