Innovations to Democratize Energy Access Without Boosting Emissions

Ambiente & Sociedade – ASOC_Extra_Ricardo_pg1-18_INGAmbient. soc. vol.17 no.3 São Paulo July/Sept. 2014

Abstract: In its chapter on Mitigation, the 5th IPCC (2014) report recognizes that inequality among countries in the occupation of carbon space persists. Remediating that inequality is obviously important but it cannot be the strategic focus of the G77+China. It is more important to create conditions that will make it feasible for the recent extraordinary progress in the electricity generating capacity of renewable and decentralized sources to become massively available to developing countries. Bolstering fossil-based economies and constructing vulnerable, pernicious hydroelectric plants means prolonging the life of a form of access to energy which is being globally supplanted. For Latin America to persist in this route means compounding the re-primarization of its economies and drawing ever farther away from the knowledge society. The carbon bubble and the depreciation of conventional energy company assets together with the exponential progress in the decentralized generating capacity of renewable sources create unprecedented conditions for organically integrating the democratization of access to energy, the achievements of social and technical innovations, and respect for the ecosystems’ limitations.

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