Keywords: Kyoto Protocol, carbon market, energy security, economic development, climate change, global environment, clean energy, sustainable development, catastrophic risks, global thermostat, global warming, sustainability, green economics, clean development mechanism, Latin America, Africa, renewable economy, economic incentives
Energy security, economic development and global warming: addressing short and long term challenges
Energy security, economic development and averting global warming are conflicting objectives in a fossil fuel economy. In the long run, sustainable development requires a shift to renewable energy sources. In the short run it requires swift action (IPCC) and different strategies. The article analyses a negative carbon process to co-produce electricity while reducing carbon concentration in the atmosphere (Jones, 2008, 2009; Chichilnisky, 2008b; Chichilnisky and Eisenberger, 2009; Eisenberger et al., 2009). While providing additional energy the process makes fossil power plants net carbon sinks. The article addresses short and long run challenges with this capability in the context of the economic incentives provided by the carbon market of the UN Kyoto Protocol, created by one of the authors in 1997 (Chichilnisky, 1993, 1996; Chichilnisky and Heal, 1994, 1995; Chichilnisky and Sheeran, 2009; Pagnamenta, 2009). We propose extending Kyoto's clean development mechanism (CDM) in a way that benefits Latin America and Africa (Chichilnisky and Heal, 1999; Chichilnisky, 1996), and analyse the global transition from a fossil to a renewable economy.