Since the western industrial revolution, fossil fuels have powered our globe and advanced society. Unfortunately, these resources, though cheap and plentiful, have come at a cost. Coal mines can be dangerous to work in, and have exploited child labor, while fossil fuel burning has polluted our air and waterways. Fossil fuel supplies are finite, and some scientists estimate that the global gas and coal supply could become a serious concern within the next fifty to one hundred years. To reduce the effects of climate change and secure our childrens’ futures, the global community must invest in and continue the innovation of renewable energy in its many forms.
In 2017 the Republic of Argentina declared a year of renewable energy. Maxed-out, unreliable fossil-fuel generated power grids left our capitol, Buenos Aires and other cities vulnerable to dangerous blackouts. To improve national infrastructure and meet renewable energy goals by 2025, Argentina partnered with the International Finance Corporation and other development institutions to create renewable-energy auctions. Because these auctions are backed by reputable international financial organizations, private investors’ financial risks are reduced and the auctions have been extremely successful, bidding off more than 2,400 megawatts of energy to primarily wind and solar companies, which are estimated to bring in $3.5 billion over the next two years. Our nation has avoided public debt and is even looking to expand our Paris Climate Change commitment thanks to these renewable-energy initiatives. Argentina currently uses many sources of sustainable energy including hydroelectricity, biomass, wind, solar and peaceful nuclear power.
The UNEP’s renewable energy discussion must focus on infrastructure development as a means of improving quality of life and recognize the role that green energy can play in spurring economic prosperity and scientific innovation. As Argentina has experienced firsthand, partnerships between developing nations and global financing corporations offer a promising future in cost-efficient growth. Protecting the environment is a transnational challenge, and demands a policy of common but differentiated responsibilities among developed and developing nations.
Green energy is good for human and economic development, the conservation of natural resources, and slowing the release of greenhouse gas emissions. Argentina looks forward to discussing the peaceful transition towards a more sustainably fueled world.
- Elizabeth Vredevelt