Presented at the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium, Tarragona, Spain June 30 – July 5 2014

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Carbon pollution from fossil-fuel combustion is the largest contributor to climate change worldwide. Renewable energy can materially help to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their principal cause, worldwide dependence on carbon fuels. If our goal is to remain at or below 1990 numbers, then fossil fuels must be phased out of the global energy portfolio.

While other factors such as energy inefficiencies in buildings, appliances and transportation, for example; deforestation, farm animal excretion, pipeline leakage, HFCs for refrigeration, black soot and changes in land use also contribute to increased emissions, finding new, innovative ways to empower people to seize the opportunities presented by clean, renewable electricity present an invaluable path to reduce carbon emissions.