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Final communiqué: "The human right to renewable energy"

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.“ This first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights articulates a basic human commitment. Only by respecting this commitment, a humane life in peace can be assured.

Energy is the fundamental prerequisite of every life. The availability of energy is a fundamental and indivisible human right.

It is an experience of the 20th century that the established systems of energy supply, mainly based on fossil and nuclear energy, are not in a position to provide this human right to everybody. It is violated billionfold. Due to the near depletion of conventional energy sources and their dramatic environmental and climate damages, this right cannot be provided to an ever increasing number of people. The human right for renewable energy can only be accomplished by renewable energy.

There is no more time to waste for the mobilisation of renewable energy. Until now, international efforts clearly lag behind the necessity and the existing opportunities. The numerous UN conferences promise more than they can deliver because they are tied to consensual decision-making in every step. UN organisations and multilateral development banks were either not willing or hindered to shift their priorities towards renewable energy. The Kyoto Protocol falls far short of its requirements. Its main problem lies in the focus on emission rights and trading instead of reducing emissions by a change of a paradigm shift towards renewables. The promotion of nuclear power ist fixed in international right, in contrary to renewable energy. The fossil and nuclear energy system still receives around 500 billion US Dollar of subsidies annually, about 50 times more than renewable energy.

International governmental institutions reflect this discrimination of renewable energy. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) promotes the proliferation of nuclear technology, the International Energy Agency (IEA) is operating as a satellite of the fossil energy industry. Both are misleading governments by playing down risks of nuclear and fossil energy and by negating the potentials of renewable energy. Both agencies are leading their governments to an energy policy ignorant of the future. This matter of fact has to be recognised and the persons in charge have to be named. They have to account not only for their actions, but also for their inaction.

Prices for conventional energies are increasing in the course of their depletion and their disastrous damages. Renwable energy is steadily getting cheaper due to its continual improvement and economies of scale. Humanity now is at the crossroads. Today and in the future, the costs of renewables enable a sustainable, cheap and sufficient energy supply for everybody.

Any further postponing is irresponsible. There are economic reasons, ecological reasons and the question of peace that speak in favour of renewable energy. All together, a basic ethic decision in favour of renewable energy is resulting from these reasons.

1. The World Renewable Energy Assembly (WREA) welcomes the official plan of the new German Federal Government to take the initiative for the creation of an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This initiative will be successful if its creation is not depending on an overall consensus but implemented by a group of like-minded governments in conjunction with an invitation to all governments to join this agency.

2. It is most important to initiate a strategy of phasing out fossil fuels by mobilising biofuels in order to avoid the arising gap of oil and gas shortage and the increase in price. Furthermore, it is necessary to organise a world trade regime which does not oppose the development of domestic biofuel economies and an agriculture related to it.

3. The World Renewable Energy Assembly (WREA) highlights the proposals of the 2nd World Renewable Energy Forum 2004 and its “World Renewable Energy Agenda”:

o A Renewable Energy Proliferation Protocol to be added to the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty.
o A renewable energy priority for financing renewables in development aid and development banks, focussing on micro-finance following the model of the Grameen Shakti Bank.
o Global industrial norms and standards for renewables.
o An international university for renewable energy under the auspices of UNESCO.

Our guiding model is the stimulation and promotion of local initiatives instead of waiting for international agreements any further. Mobilisation of renewables is an unique new chance, not an economic burden.

The World Renewable Energy Assembly 2006 will be themed

“Energy Independence for all.”

Editorial Notes: From the: World Renewable Energy Assembly (WREA) 2005 November, 26th to 30th, 2005, Bonn 3rd World Renewable Energy Forum
November 30th, 2005 Links: Homepage / Documents / Organizers & Sponsors In a post at WorldChanging, Jamais Cascio writes:
The communique captures the transition now underway for global environmentalism, the shift from demanding a cessation of problems to encouraging the development of solutions.
Among the press releases from the conference, this release about one of the speakers (PDF) shows how critical the WREA is of the fossil fuel solution :
...the Swiss Parliamentarian (National Council) Mr Rudolf Rechsteiner revealed how the International Energy Agency (IEA) had systematically undervalued the potential of renewables and had consequently deluded governments and the public with false data on prices and resources. Rechsteiner: „IEA is working like a lobby organization for the fossil and nuclear energy industry, acting just as though it were paid by the industry and not by the tax payers of the IEA member states.“ Manipulative IEA estimates are misleading governments and investors worldwide. „Like planned economies of the Communist Block, the data and outlooks of the IEA always appear good - but do not reflect reality“, said Rechsteiner. „Promoting renewable energy expansion and technology transfer via fossil IEA structures would be a dangerous misdirection“, concludes Scheer. „Only by creating an International Agency for Renewable Energies as a separate entity can we push renewables forward to a global breakthrough.
-BA

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