Interesting article in the Guardian this morning from Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency saying clean energy is both feasible and necessary. This statement is ahead of today's Clean Energy Ministerial, a meeting of ministers and representatives of nations that account for 80% of world energy demand. She says:
The world's energy system is being pushed to breaking point, and our addiction to fossil fuels grows stronger each year. Many clean energy technologies are available, but they are not being deployed quickly enough to avert potentially disastrous consequences.
The ministers meeting this week have an incredible opportunity before them. It is my hope that they heed our warning of slow progress and act to seize the security, economic and environmental benefits clean energy transition can bring.
As I've said quite a lot recently, we have got to get across three basic properties of a sustainable future: that it is necessary, feasible and desirable. Necessary because climate change and resource depletion are eroding our quality of life, feasible in that we have the technologies and the policy instruments required and desirable in that we can have clean, secure energy for ever. If only we can let go of the past and embrace the future.
This applies to individual businesses as well as the globe - you either compete in the race to sustainability or get left forlornly at the starting line. Management gurus talk about the 'burning platform' - the analogy of survivors of the Piper Alpha oil platform disaster who disobeyed orders and jumped into the freezing water far below them. Their choice was definite death or probable death and they took the latter option. The move to sustainability is nowhere near as stark a choice as that faced by those poor men - people often use the also grim 'boiling a frog' metaphor of getting caught out by creeping change. But I have it on good authority that frogs don't actually get caught out by the rising temperature - when it gets too hot, they hop off. We need to show similar judgement - let go of the past and make the leap before it's too late.