Former Soviet President Calls for Global
May 1, 2006
and Washington, DC [RenewableEnergyAccess.com]
Calling on leaders of the world's largest
industrialized nations (G8) to invest in renewable
energy and energy efficiency, former Soviet President
Gorbachev marked the 20th anniversary of the world's
largest nuclear power plant disaster in Chernobyl
with a request for the creation of a $50 billion Global
Solar Fund over 10 years.
"The Fund could easily be raised by
cutting subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear energy,
to install solar photovoltaic equipment around the
planet, thereby driving down the price and creating
a mass market for a clean fuel technology."
-- Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet President
The request was in an "Energy Security"
brief sent with a letter from President Gorbachev,
who is Founder and Chairman of Green Cross International,
to heads of state and leaders of parliaments in the
G8 nations as they prepare for the upcoming G8 Summit
in St. Petersburg, Russia.
"This idea reflects our vision of a way of helping
the energy impoverished in the developing world, while
creating concentrations of solar energy in cities
that could be used to prevent blackouts, and would
result in lower electricity bills," said President
Gorbachev. "The Fund could easily be raised by cutting
subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear energy, to
install solar photovoltaic equipment around the planet,
thereby driving down the price and creating a mass
market for a clean fuel technology."
"The greatest energy security challenge facing humanity
is the implementation of clean renewable energy solutions
for sustainable development," said Matt Petersen,
President of Global Green USA and Chair of Green Cross's
Energy and Resource Efficiency Committee. "Leveraging
an unprecedented clean renewable energy and energy
efficiency deployment is the only way to achieve real,
lasting energy security."
The recent discussions of nuclear power serving as
a solution to climate change prompted comment from
President Gorbachev: "Nuclear power is neither the
answer to modern energy problems nor a panacea for
climate change challenges. You don't actually solve
problems by finding solutions that create more problems
down the track. Of all the energy options, nuclear
is the most capital intensive to establish, decommissioning
is prohibitively expensive and the financial burden
continues long after the plant is closed."
Contrasting such energy expenditures in this country,
Gorbachev pointed out, "In the U.S., for example,
direct subsidies to nuclear energy amounted to $115
billion between 1947 and 1999 with a further $145
billion in indirect subsidies. In contrast, subsidies
to wind and solar combined during the same period
totaled only $5.5 billion."
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