"Technology subsidies may take our ecosystem out of crisis"

World Wednesday 11/September/2019 18:46 PM
By: Times News Service
"Technology subsidies may take our ecosystem out of crisis"

Abu Dhabi: While economic growth and urbanisation are positive trends in the development of humankind, they also contribute to an increase in the world's population and exacerbate the shortage of three inextricably linked resources: energy, water and food.

The issue of ensuring their availability, as well as security, requires a comprehensive approach, says Rae Kwon Chung, chairman of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, member of the IPCC, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

The shift of subsidies towards green energy, sustainable agriculture and land use, as well as support for technological solutions in the field of production, storage and transfer of energy resources will not only answer this challenge, but will also have a positive impact on solving environmental problems.

This conclusion was made by the expert in his session “Energy, water, food: an ecosystem on the cusp”, held at the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
According to Rae Kwon Chung, climate change is exacerbating the uncertain environment surrounding the growing demand for food, energy and water.

“We are stuck in a vicious circle: increased production of food, energy and water is worsening the climate crisis. Agriculture and land use is responsible for around one third of global greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, according to the IPCC report, extreme weather conditions, such as periods of extreme heat, floods, droughts, undermine the basic water supply of one fourth of the world population,” the expert underlined.

He said that, "by 2050, the world's population will reach 10 billion people. This will become another critical factor. Already today, energy production systems, as well as food and water supply should be reviewed. In addition, at the same time, a fight against climate change should accompany this transformation."

According to Chung, subsidies for the exploration, production and operation of fossil fuels (amounting to $ 370 billion per year) should be redirected to support renewable energy sources, which are currently financed 4 times less (about $ 100 billion).

"A shift in subsidies even by 10-30 per cent from traditional sources towards renewable energy sources will be able to recoup the global transition to green energy.

"Secondly, introduction of environmentally friendly measures for food production are in demand, taking into account the reduction of harmful emissions into the atmosphere,” he said.

Thirdly, according to the expert, the support of scientific developments is critical. "Moreover, this support is needed not only in the field of fossil and green energy production, but also in the area of storage, transmission and energy efficiency of resources. Thus, technological solutions for the implementation of all measures will be available.”

“The Global Energy Prize is one of the best practices in this sense. In 2019, it is awarded to famous scientists Khalil Amine (USA) and Frede Blaabjerg (Denmark) for energy storage and transmission technologies,” Chung concluded.