Living Planet: Where are we at with renewables? [Radio Interview]

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Mar 112016

The Fukushima disaster convinced the German government under Angela Merkel that nuclear power was not the way to go. The country decided to start phasing out nuclear energy and give financial support to the development of renewable energy technologies. This helped to boost alternative energy production around the globe. So how far have we got in the last five years?


Living Planet: Fukushima – 5 years on [Radio Interview]

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Mar 102016

DW.ImageFive years ago, the world was shocked by the news that a massive earthquake had triggered a devastating tsunami along the coast of Japan. Entire villages were destroyed and the nuclear plant at Fukushima went into meltdown. What does the region look like today and where are we at with the push for renewable energy?


‘Yes we can’ switch to 100 percent renewable energy

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Mar 042016

DW.ImageEuropean Union environment ministers are discussing implementation of the Paris Agreement on Friday (04.03.) A timely transition out of fossil fuels is doable, says Alexander Ochs from Worldwatch. That is, if we act now.

Protest at Eiffel Tower at COP21 in Paris (Photo: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)

Can we switch from fossil fuels to renewables in time to keep temperature rise to 2, ideally 1.5 degrees Celsius?

Not only can we do a transition to truly sustainable systems – financially, economically, socially and environmentally sustainable – we are in the midst of it. There is no one global trend in that direction, but there are many places, municipalities, provinces, whole countries, regions that are transitioning away from fossil fuels toward renewable ways of producing energy, and smarter ways of consuming energy. So it is absolutely doable.

Can you name some examples?

Alexander Ochs (Photo: Irene Quaile)Ochs says renewables are fast outpacing fossil fuels

Germany has managed over the last two decades to transition away from fossil fuels. We have seen enormous growth rates of renewable electricity production. Or take Denmark, which has always been seen as a renewable energy champion. But it’s not a trend restricted any more to developed countries.

Look at Costa Rica, look at many places on all continents – you find very dramatic examples, transitions away from fossil fuel energy toward sustainable energy sources – not always at the level of nations, but often sub-federal levels like communities or provinces. We have a lot of really great examples now, best practice examples. We really have to learn from experience and share that experience internationally.

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Interview on RFM 104.9: Haiti Sustainable Energy Roadmap (in English and French)

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Dec 012014


Publication d’une étude réalisée par le World Watch Institute avec le financement de l’Allemagne sur les grandes potentialités d’Haiti en matière d’énergies renouvelables. Dans une interview exclusive accordee a RFM Mr Ochs qui a contribué à la réalisation de cette etude souhaite que les autorités Haitiennes optent pour les énergies solaire et éolienne en abandonnant l’utilisation du diesel et du mazout trop onéreux

Mr Ochs qui participait à l’Emission Enjeux affirme haut et fort que le pays pourrait économiser des centaines de millions de dollars américains tous les ans grâce aux énergies renouvelables. Le Directeur a l’énergie du World Watch Institute precise que des Investisseurs étrangers sont prêts a participé à la mise en œuvre de ces projets toutefois note Alexander Ochs ils réclament que les conditions legales soient réunies .

Les explications de Alexander Ochs au micro de Rotchild Francois Jr.

Amid Gloomy Climate News, Doha Talks Enter Final Week

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Dec 042012
Rosanne Skirble

December 04, 2012

High level officials from more than 200 countries are in Doha, Qatar, for talks that began last week on the next steps after the Kyoto Protocol, the U.N. climate change treaty expires this year. The ministers arrive in the face of bad news for the planet. A spate of new scientific studies finds worldwide greenhouse gas emissions rising and ice sheets melting rapidly, and predicts a planetary warming of as much as five degrees Celsius by the end of this century unless nations act immediately to reduce their industrial emissions of CO2 and other climate-changing greenhouse gases.  (…)
While hopes are high that the U.S. will take the lead in Doha with new emission pledges, some experts doubt if the Obama Administration has the political support at home to significantly alter its climate policies.  Alexander Ochs, an energy and climate analyst with the World Watch Institute in Doha says the U.S. has its hands bound.
“On the one hand, having this high expectation here of other countries that the United States should be  in a leadership role and on the other hand not being able to move more ambitiously to fulfill those targets and those commitments because of domestic resistance.”
Find the full article [here] and on VOA Online.
You can find the full radio report [here].

New Report Highlights Link Between Climate Change, National Security

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Nov 132012
by Brian Padden, Voice of America, November 09, 2012 
WASHINGTON — The U.S. National Research Council released a report Friday on the link between global climate change and national security. The scientific study details how global warming is putting new social and political stresses on societies around the world and how the United States and other counties can anticipate and respond to these climate-driven security risks. The report by the congressionally-chartered research group begins with an assertion that global warming is real, and that the mainstream scientific community believes that heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are being added to the atmosphere faster today than they were before the rise of human societies.  (…)
Alexander Ochs, the Climate and Energy Director at the non-profit Worldwatch Institute, says the report is an important reminder to world leaders of the complex problems posed by climate change: “So any investment we can make today in reducing emissions will make the problem smaller and it will pay out multi-fold in terms of the costs we have to pick up in the future,” Ochs said.The report, however, does not deal with how nations should go about reducing carbon emissions in the future.  It focuses on the present and how the U.S. and the world can better manage potentially disruptive climate events.
You can find the full article [HERE].

Energiepolitische Veränderung in den USA durch die Hintertür

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Oct 302012


Alexander Ochs vom Worldwatch Institute zum Rückgang der CO2-Emissionen

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Das Klima- und Energiepaket von Obama war 2010 im US-Senat gescheitert. Die CO2-Emissionen sind um acht Prozent trotzdem deutlich zurückgegangen. Das läge laut Alexander Ochs vom Worldwatch Institute an der Wirtschaftskrise, dem Ausbau der erneuerbaren Energien und dem zunehmenden Wechsel von Kohle zu Erdgas. 

Jule Reimer: “Der Klimawandel ist kein Schwindel. Mehr Fluten, Dürren und Waldbrände sind kein Kinderspiel, sie bedrohen die Zukunft unserer Kinder! Und Sie können bei dieser Wahl etwas dagegen tun.” – Das waren klare Aussagen von US-Präsident Barack Obama beim Parteitag der Demokraten vergangenen September. Danach – im Wahlkampf – nahm er das Wort Klimawandel allerdings nicht mehr in den Mund, so wie er auch in seiner ganzen Regierungszeit der Klimaerwärmung keine große Aufmerksamkeit widmete. Überraschenderweise sind jedoch die CO2-Emissionen der USA deutlich zurückgegangen, gegenüber dem Vorjahr um acht Prozent, damit sind sie so niedrig wie vor 20 Jahren. Gestern – noch bevor Sandy die Ostküste mit Wucht erreichte – sprach ich mit Alexander Ochs von der US-Denkfabrik Worldwatch Institute in Washington und fragte ihn, wie diese gute CO2-Bilanz zustande kommt.

Alexander Ochs: Das ist hauptsächlich zwei Dingen geschuldet: zum einen der Weltwirtschaftskrise, die natürlich auch in den USA zu geringerem Energieverbrauch geführt hat. Dadurch gehen die Emissionen aus dem Energiebereich runter. Und zum zweiten ist es einerseits der Tatsache geschuldet, dass die Erneuerbaren durchaus zugelegt haben, sich in etwa verdoppelt haben in den letzten vier Jahren unter Obama, und zum zweiten, dass Kohle zunehmend durch Erdgas ersetzt wird. In den USA wird ja hauptsächlich Schiefergas jetzt gefördert und die Erdgasproduktion ist so hoch wie nie zuvor. Das ist natürlich ein fossiler Energieträger, aber einer, der eben sauberer verbrennt, als es die Kohle tut, und insofern führt dieser Ersatz der Kohle durch Erdgas natürlich zu einer relativ rasanten Abnahme der Treibhausgasemission. Das ist grundsätzlich natürlich zu begrüßen.

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