Watch E3G co-founder and Chairman Tom Burke in conversation with Stephen Colegrave of Byline Times, discussing what consequences climate change and climate policy success or failure will have on democratic systems.
Watch the recording
Without democracy, climate policy will fail. If climate policy fails democracy will die. Climate change is a unique problem in the whole of human history. The consequences of success or failure will directly affect the life of every one of the nearly eight billion people on the planet.
What is also unique is that we understand the cause of the problem very well. It is simply the burning of fossil fuels to meet our energy needs. We also know the consequences of continuing to burn them. The planet’s temperature will continue to rise – and with it the impacts of floods, droughts, fires and storms on everyone’s life.
We also know what we have to do to address the problem of climate change. Stop burning fossil fuels. But we cannot stop using energy to drive the economy. So, while we stop burning fossil fuels we must put in place other means of providing societies with the energy they need to ensure a good quality of life.
Fortunately, we already have the technologies to do this. By electrifying all energy sectors; producing electricity from clean, renewable sources; creating heat, cold, and hydrogen from such electricity; storing electricity, heat, cold and hydrogen; expanding transmission; and shifting the time of some electricity use, we can create safe, cheap and reliable energy everywhere.
This is a total transformation of our current energy system; for climate policy to succeed, it must be completed by the middle of the century. The private sector will play a central role in delivering the change but it cannot do that without clear and consistent leadership from governments.
This event was held on 27th June 2022 as part of London Climate Action Week.