If we are to succeed in seeing a less polluted, yet still prosperous, future, governments and societies alike must focus policy on promoting the fuels which strike the right balance between cost, scalability, efficiency, and environmental impact.
If Obama can use his presidential authority to slash handouts to oil and gas groups, and plow that money into clean power instead, the IEA's much hoped for energy revolution will take a huge step towards becoming a reality.
How can it be that investment in clean energy is heading for a disappointing drop in 2012 while the International Energy Agency warns that without a radical change in direction, in just a few short years we will have closed the door to limiting global temperature rise to 2°?
Pipeline companies like Transcanada, Enbridge, Shell and Kinder Morgan remind me of guys who just won't take no for an answer. They're going to keep coming back no matter what we tell them, unless we cut them off for good.
There is likely more than $1 trilion annually provided for the production and consumption of oil, gas, and coal. That's a lot of money to be wasting and hiding, and it could be put to far better use for education, hunger, poverty, renewable energy, and many many other uses.
World leaders are arriving here in Rio to address some of the most daunting issues facing our planet. To be sure, the myriad problems we now face because we haven't taken more action to address global warming and sustainable development can seem daunting. Here's where to start.
A "Twitter storm" raged on the Internet as hundreds of thousands of people around the world -- including EU commissioner for climate action Connie Hedegaard and celebrities such as NRDC trustee Robert Redford -- flooded the Web with #EndFossilFuelSubsidies tweets.
Citizens around the world are rallying for governments to clearly commit to phase out fossil fuel subsides at Rio+20. And here are some pictures, a video, and tweets which documents this strong public support.
Far from governments actually ending fossil fuel subsidies, the International Energy Agency reports that in 2012 governments are expected to spend nearly three times more money subsidizing fossil fuels than they did in 2009.
We should not be subsidizing the destruction of our planet. Fossil fuels are literally cooking our planet, polluting our air and draining our wallets. Why should we continue to reward companies to do that?
NRDC, with Stakeholder Forum and Road to Rio+20, recently launched the Earth Summit Watch -- a country-by-country progress tracker of the ambition (or lack thereof) of preparations before we all meet in Rio.
In the U.S., political polarization has decimated what had long been the key political constituency in the Congress for environmental action, namely, the middle, including both moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats.