Energy and Climate


Energy and Climate
Jan Dolezal

There is now a strong consensus that climate change presents an urgent challenge to the well-being of all countries, particularly the poorest countries and the poorest people in them. It epitomizes the complexity of the development challenge in a globalizing but still highly unequal world. It magnifies growing concerns about food security, water scarcity and energy security. It is a daunting environmental threat that raises the most difficult issues of economic disparity, political power, and social justice. The primary direct effects of climate change are an increase in droughts and floods, more seasonal peaks in river flow and a higher probability of stronger tropical storms. The poorest countries and communities are likely to suffer the most because of their geographical location, low incomes and low institutional capacity as well as their greater reliance on climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture. This could lead to population displacement, migration, and potential conflicts. In the longer term, sea level rise and glacier melting threaten the existence of nations and the development foundation of sub-continents.

An effective response to climate change must combine both mitigation—to avoid the unmanageable—and adaptation, to manage the unavoidable. Most of the warming trend observed since the mid-20th Century is very likely due to an increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations, particularly of carbon dioxide (CO2) caused by activities such as fossil fuel use and land use changes. While the Earth is likely to already be committed to the level of warming within 2 degrees Celsius, the challenge remains to curtail global greenhouse gas emissions so that it will be feasible to “manage the unavoidable” without incurring costs and impacts of a catastrophic magnitude. A delay in reducing GHG emissions significantly constrains opportunities to achieve lower GHG atmospheric concentration stabilization levels and is likely to increase the risk of severe (and possibly some irreversible) impacts and the cost of adapting to them.

Complicated computer models can calculate specific consequences of bigger air pollution with GHG and subsequent warming. Certainly, these results are valid with a certain level of inaccuracy:
• Precipitation will change – differently in different places of the World. Their increase is expected with great probability in high latitudes: the Arctic, Canada, Scandinavia or Siberia. More rain is also expected in some tropical areas. On the other hand, most subtropical areas can anticipate a substantive decrease of rains. Even if the CO2 emissions were growing until 2050 only and then began to drop, there would be a twenty percent decrease of precipitation in some parts of Africa.
• Mountain glaciers will melt relatively quickly which will result in a radical reduction of their area as early as in the next decades. This will affect especially the hundreds of millions of people in India and Latin America who are dependent on rivers supplied with water from the Himalayan and Andean glaciers.
• Ocean level will go up. The main reason consists in the thermal expansion of water: warmer liquid has a bigger volume and it is true for seas as well. Melting of polar glaciers has a much smaller influence at present but it would become a key factor in several decades.
• More natural disasters can be expected. Warmer atmosphere brings more frequent extreme weather fluctuations. Therefore, strong tropical hurricanes and typhoons, windstorm, floods or drought or hot waves would be more often.
• Some parts of the World will change completely. If high CO2 emissions continue, ice from the Arctic Ocean would disappear almost completely every summer at the end of the century. Large areas of South-American rainforests would change into dry savannas.

Warmer climate, disappearing mountain glaciers, less water in rivers, change in the amount of precipitation or higher sea level – what looks only like a model of a distant future when displayed on computer screens today can be felt entirely tangibly by hundreds of millions of people in a few decades.
“Malaria, diarrhoea and malnutrition kill millions of people, usually children, every year. Without efficient measures against climate changes and without ability to adapt to these changes, these problems will be even worse and it will be more complicated and more expensive to keep them under control,” says Dr. Margaret Chan, a prominent WHO representative .
Global climate changes mean “not only” flooding of small islands in the Caribbean and Pacific areas that is talked about recently. Rising water level in oceans will expel farmers from fertile deltas of the Nile, Niger or Mekong and other large areas. Regular seasonal rains will change and areas that have been fertile so far may change into dry deserts. It will not take long till poor harvests come. People´s lives and health will be threatened not only by malnutrition but also by spreading of tropical diseases into new areas, natural disasters or lack of water due to mountain glacier melting.
In this chapter we will focus on the linkages between climate change, energy production and access to electricity. Having described shortly causes and impacts on poor countries we will move on to show linkages between changing climate patterns and energy as at the global level, energy production, transformation and use are the largest contributors to GHG emissions and will remain so for years to come. This part will explore also the possibilities of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and decentralised energy services not only for developed world but particularly for the developing one. The final part is devoted to the climate policy designed at international level and to the Czech part of responsibility in climate constrained world.

1. Linkages between climate change and energy

The global effort to address climate change will require a fundamental transformation of our economies and the ways in which we use energy. The generation and consumption of energy with its share about 65% is a major source of anthropogenic GHG emissions (see Figure 2). With growing energy demand, especially in emerging economies, emissions from the energy sector will increase, with much of the future increase originating in developing countries. Energy will be a central aspect of climate change mitigation, warranting specific policy intervention that will need to span across several policy forums.
Figure 2: Global GHG emissions by sector

Source: World Resource Institute (2005)

If people are to avoid dramatic consequences of climate changes they cannot rely on the prevailing development model based on non-renewable sources and high emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. So both the developed and developing worlds are standing on the same starting line, meaning that the economy and society based on low-carbon technologies remains to be developed by both of them.
The fact remains that greenhouse gas emissions, i.e. the cause of the ongoing process of global warming, are very unequally distributed on a world scale. Historical responsibility for the majority of emissions over the last more than 250 years rest with the countries of the global North, which for a long time has fed its economic growth with cheap energy from oil, coal and gas and still remains the biggest producers even at present (see Figure 3).
Figure 3 (GHG emissions per capita, 2005)

Source: World Resources Institute
Therefore, not concealing the need for emerging economies in taking their share of action in lowering their growth of GHG emissions, the biggest part of responsibility for a radical reduction of GHG emissions lies on the industrial countries predominantly and the reasons do not have to be only the struggle with climate changes but also efforts to increase their energy security. The present financial crisis thus does not have to be considered a barrier but rather an opportunity to renew the economies towards a more sustainable future through investment into clean energy sources both at home and in the developing countries and formation of millions of new green jobs.
To truly make a difference in reducing emissions a new paradigm in society’s overall approach to energy resources and the means of producing and consuming them must be accepted. The age of cheap energy is gone and never coming back. The return on energy, that is the ratio between energy expended and gained, continues to drop; while the total demand for energy rises (see Figure 4). Dailies around the work all the more frequently publish headlines warning of the energy crisis. Every crisis, however, brings with it a seed for something new. In this case the seed is a model for developing an independence from burning fossil fuel energy resources and for starting low-carbon economies with local production and energy consumption.
The cornerstones for a progressive energy policy like this lie in an emphasis on:
– increasing the efficiency of existing energy resources and reducing total consumption of energy (with regard to households, industry and the country as a whole),
– introducing renewable sources of energy,
– decentralising production capacity and transmission systems.

Figure 4: Evolution from 1971 to 2006 of world total final consumption by fuel (Mtoe)

Source: IEA (2008)
1.1. The global energy and emission prospects
As global energy demand and consumption surges, fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) are expected to remain the dominant source of energy to 2030, accounting for 80 percent of the overall increase in energy demand between 2006 and 2030, according to calculations by the International Energy Agency (IEA) . Due to strong economic growth, China and India account for 51% of incremental world primary energy demand in 2006-2030. In general non-OECD countries account for 87% of the increase in global demand between 2006 and 2030. As a result, their share of world primary energy demand rises from 51% to 62% .
Quickly growing economies in the developing world prove that energy is necessary for development. Especially in China, India, Brazil, South East Asia and countries of the Near East, the demand is and will be growing with a global importance. Fast growing energy use in developing countries will change the landscape of global carbon emissions. In spite of the fact that the World´s emission per unit of electricity is going down due to increasing efficiency and bigger proportion of renewable sources, the growth of the demand is so enormous that the total emissions keep growing.
If countries meet the growing demand for energy by burning fossil fuels the CO2 emissions related to the energy sector will be increasing mercilessly. Three quarters of the expected GHG emission increase will be in China, India and countries of the Near East. Generally, all non-OECD countries will take part in this increase by the year 2030 in 97% (see Figure 5) which will be caused predominantly by growing attractiveness of coal (today it is used to generate electricity in three quarters). As early as in 2007, China became the biggest GHG producer and it overtook the United States, however, the CO2 production per one inhabitant in China is still much smaller than in most OECD countries.

Figure 5: Energy-related CO2 emissions in the Reference scenario

Source: WEO 2008

Despite smaller historical responsibility for GHG emission, the quickly growing economies, as a result of their economic growth that is often based on fossil fuels, are becoming a part of the problem and thus of the solution as well. With limited capacities, they face many challenges – the need for their societies´ development, necessity to decease poverty and, as a new thing, also the consequences of climate changes which make achievement of the first two goals even more difficult. So far, a better access to energy services was connected with mass GHG production in most cases. But there are still many possibilities how to avert these prospects – business-as-usual/reference scenarios – by adoption of mitigation policies which would result in emissions reduction on global level (see Figure 6). So that for the sake of sustaining our atmosphere and environment and at the same time bring energy to the poor people in developing countries a paradigm shift is needed which consists of the three pillars presented above.

Figure 6 (Reductions in energy-related CO2 emissions in the climate-policy scenarios)

Source: WEO 2008

1.2. Climate change mitigation and access to energy

This chapter explores the potential of renewable energy sources in achieving both goals – mitigation of climate change and improvement of access to energy services in developing countries. Today, 1.5 billion people in the world still do not have access to modern energy services (see Figure 7) and 2.5 billion rely on traditional biomass fuels for cooking . In Africa and South Asia 60% and 40% of the population respectively do not have access to electric power. This is a major challenge to economic growth and global development goals. Modern energy services are central to achieving the Millennium Development Goals because they are positive catalysts for productivity, health, education, safe water, gender equality and so on.
Figure 7 (Access to electricity, 2008)

Source: IEA
At the same time radical measures must be taken both mitigation of and adaptation to climate change before we lock into energy intensive, fossil-fuel dependent development pathway. To some, the two objectives of improving energy access and mitigating climate change seem irreconcilable. There is a strong belief that improving energy access would necessarily mean increasing fossil energy consumption and therefore increase GHG emissions (as it is in the case of business-as-usual/reference scenario). Conversely, reducing GHG emissions would automatically imply limiting energy services, comfort and development. However, there is a room for win-win strategies that meet the needs for energy services but do not harm the environment. Policies and new financing mechanisms designed to reduce GHG emissions can also improve the delivery of energy services.
Increased energy efficiency and reliance on local renewable energy solutions have the potential both to promote greater energy access, and to lower carbon emissions. However their effective implementation is contingent on the removal of the barriers that limit their development. Development aid can play a critical role in this process by enhancing capacity of developing countries to create favourable conditions for the development of policies, investment and the expansion of market-based instruments (carbon cap-and-trade mechanisms, etc.) and innovative finance options (carbon levies, finance transaction tax, etc.) that would lead to better energy access for all.
1.2.1. Importance of energy for development
Unsatisfactory access to modern energy sources is caused, inter alia, by the citizens´ low incomes, uneven distribution of energy services, lack of finances to build necessary infrastructure, natural barriers such as high mountains and rainforests etc. that make it impossible to connected isolated localities to energy networks and, last but not least, by insufficient institutional and legislative capacities and often small political will to solve these issues.
Accessibility and consumption of energy are closely connected with the society´s level of development. The least developed countries also have insufficient access to energy sources but even very small increase in energy accessibility results in a significant positive shift in the human development indicator (HDI) . Access to energy is a basic precondition for development of a competitive small and medium-sized enterprise, for development of industry, transport, health care, education, business and agriculture. In spite of the fact that access to corresponding, financially affordable and sustainable energy sources itself is not one of the Millennium development goals, it is a necessary prerequisite for their fulfilment. In case of any of these eight goals (elimination of poverty and famine, enhanced equity, fight with AIDS, etc.) a potential for more accessible energy services for their fulfilment can be easily identified.
More accessible modern energy sources can prevent early deaths and injuries caused by traditional ways of burning biomass inside households. Electric lighting enables to spend more time by studying both at school and at home. Members of a household that is equipped with more efficient burners instead of traditional open fires can, instead of collecting biomass, spend the time by studying or working in agriculture or doing some other gainful activities which can result in a better economic situation and it can also have a positive impact on more equal relationships between men and women. A higher level of energy services can improve the inhabitants´ health through better health care (e.g. necessary cooling of vaccines), help to fight against HIV infection more effectively by informing the threatened groups of inhabitants about this dangerous disease thorough radio, TV and Internet, or it can improve access to drinking water using pumps.
In many countries, development focuses only little on improvement of the living conditions for most people. Too often there are investments into big energy projects focused rather on meeting the needs of big multinational corporations or exporting these sources to foreign countries and big cities in order to get as much money for the state budget as possible, regardless of the local people´s needs. Less attention and investment is directed at fighting poverty on the local level and there is a certain confidence that the economic growth itself will solve all the problems.
1.2.2. Development Leap

A development leap means a chance to bypass and practically leave out an entire development period due to the fact that large areas of developing countries still are not equipped with centralised sources with a dense network of transmission systems and distributions networks. They are not therefore dependent on 20th century infrastructure, which is decentralisation; renewable resources and pressure for efficiency are becoming for them the clear alternative as well as the real challenge for the 21st century. Economic growth and social prosperity thus cease to be structurally conditioned by high greenhouse gas emissions as well as by the fatal dependence on limited fossil fuel energy sources.
1.2.3. Renewable energy sources
An advantage of modern technology is also improved access for poor inhabitants of developing countries to more efficient, cleaner and more reliable energy. This means the introduction of local sources of renewable energy in the form of small hydro and wind power stations, solar panels, biogas stations for farms or more efficient use of traditional sources – always in accordance to the needs and possibilities of the local communities.
Africa and other continents have sufficient renewable energy sources. Tropical countries have the possibility of using the sun’s strong rays; seaside countries can exploit the wind, waves or tides. Not only can they thus achieve a higher standard of living without having to increase greenhouse emissions, but it is also frequently the only solution – in many places on the earth it’s not about choosing between clean and dirty energy, but between clean energy and an utter lack of energy.
The weakness of fossil fuels is not only the carbon emissions, but also the distribution of energy. Billions of villagers in Africa, India and other areas cannot rely on distribution from large power plants to reach their villages in the foreseeable future. The construction and maintenance of infrastructure is too expensive for these poor countries. It is here that we see the glaring advantages of renewable sources - thanks to them there is no need to build expensive distribution systems, so that even remote places have access to electricity.
For instance, in Kenya the support of donors in the 1980s established a private market with solar systems to produce electricity that will even grow by 10 to 20 percent annually. Extremely popular among households are the small photovoltaic panels with 10-15 watts of power . Small sources have a large impact, only 15-100 watts are needed to provide light for a home, operate a small radio or television and one other appliance . A power plant with the power of one megawatt can provide light and operation of smaller industrial companies in a town with 3,000 inhabitants .
1.2.4. Lower costs
China approved a new law on supporting renewal energy sources and plans to achieve in them around 2010 an installed power of 60 gigawatts, or about a tenth of all electricity. Why? Because in wind turbines, solar panels and similar technology the country doesn't only see a chance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but above all the chance to ensure sufficient energy sovereignty.
The economic risk of using fossil fuels is simply related to the fact that reserves are limited. If throughout the world the demand for energy increases, it means their systematically rising and, what’s more, fluctuating price. The rise in price will apparently continue. The growing hunger for energy in developing countries stands behind this rising price as does the increased cost of extracting fossil fuels, which is becoming all the more complicated. Countries that fully depend on supplies of fossil fuels (mainly of oil) from abroad must count on growing energy costs. It therefore follows that there is less money in their budget for public services – for hospitals and schools – and for maintaining the social network decreases, or they are forced to take out a loan that can result in spiralling debt.
Not only governments but also businesses are starting to be already aware about the limited future of non-renewable sources. In spite of emerging economic crises, more investment have been spent on renewable sources (about $120) in 2008 than on fossil based energy technologies. This was a six fold increase since 2004 . Expanding the renewable energy portfolio now means harvesting fruits in the times of future economic recovery and rising demand for energy.
1.2.5. Energy without corruption and dictators
Dependence on fossil fuels also has its political dimension. First of all, it again is a matter of the relation between oil importers and exporters. Countries dependent on it often “turn a blind eye” to authoritative regimes in countries from which they purchase the oil. They are then actually legitimising the governments that can continue unhindered in persecuting their citizens. The EU itself mostly imports fossil fuels from companies with undemocratic regimes such as Libya or Azerbaijan, and is thereby to a certain extent responsible for the human rights violations, since they provide to the governments of these countries much needed financial resources. In the future the EU expects to diversify its portfolio of suppliers and transport routes. It will concentrate mainly on the area of eastern Asia, such as Turkmenistan or Kazakhstan; that is countries with not overly high democratic standards. The EU is thus risking its position on the battle field for observing human rights, since it more or less is abandoning it at the cost of continued dependence of its economy on fossil fuels.
Another aspect of the problem lies in the strong position of large energy companies. They wield considerable political power so it is often difficult to persuade them to accept public control. There is therefore created an enormous space for corruption, a grey political zone and collaboration between the state and large companies in asserting their interests to the detriment of the average citizen. This is happening, for instance, in Nigeria where in the areas of the oil fields there is occurring large-scale devastation of the landscape. The land is contaminated by oil and toxic substances and there are frequently fires fed by escaping gas.
Even wealthy countries with a long history of democratic institutions must face the political and economic pressure of large energy companies. How can we then realistically expect poor developing countries with lower democratic standards to resist this pressure?
And last but not least: the concentration of reserves of fossil fuels in the hands of undemocratic governments enables part of the profit to go toward the support of terrorists (Saudi Arabia, Iran) or for countries to abuse exports as a foreign policy instrument (Russia).
1.2.6. Energy efficiency - a stake on negawatts
Most CO2 is formed during burning of coal, crude oil and natural gas. That is why energy management plays a key role in the reduction of GHG emissions. It is necessary to find a way of increasing the present living standard and, at the same time, consume less energy and use clean energy sources.
Thus energy efficiency is the first thing. We have to bestir innovations that will bring highly effective technologies to the market: to produce negawatts, i.e. unconsumed energy, instead of megawatts. Possibilities are huge – e.g. better insulation of buildings, low-energy and passive houses, or modernisation of industrial production. These changes themselves would save tens of percent of our emissions. Another well-known possibility concerns production of cars with lower fuel consumption and more efficient home appliances. Investment in public transport and railways will make it possible for both people and goods to travel in ways other than by cars or lorries.
The second important point consists in introduction of new technologies. Renewable sources such as biomass, sun, wind or sea waves can serve for heat and electricity generation. Possibilities of clean energy are vast in the Czech Republic, too, and they are even bigger elsewhere in the World.
IPCC has calculated that the technologies that are used today enable reduction by tens of percent already. Within about 25 years, the GHG production can be reduced by the amount which corresponds to 16 – 31 billion tons of CO2. But this is not the end of the possibilities. In their influential study, professors Stephen Pacala and Robert Socolow of Princeton University note that possibilities of the single measures are growing gradually because the price for available technologies will continue decreasing due to innovations and development and their efficiency will increase.
Reduction of emissions will, of course, cost something but it is an advantageous investment. Keeping the temperature below the limit of 2oC by the year 2030 will cost an amount that corresponds to decrease of the economic growth by 0.12 per cent points per year in average. Nevertheless, seven-hundred-page Stern´s Report, which the British minister of finances had ordered from the former chief economist of the World Bank, has calculated that even if we use pure economic sense only, it is clear that the damage prevented is much bigger than the costs expended.
1.2.7. Decentralised energy services

In rural areas of developing countries, both grid and off-grid systems are being used to supply electricity to those who have access. However, most electricity at present comes from the grid, and increasing access to electricity tends to be through extending the grid from large towns or cities into smaller towns and villages. Oil derivatives, diesel oil and gasoline are used for transport, while the fuel for heating and cooking is biomass.
In urban areas, the grid is the main supply of electricity, the high concentration of users making it more cost-effective than in rural areas. Oil, gas and coal are used mainly for cooking, heating and transport. In Asia and Africa, wood and charcoal are still frequently used in urban areas for cooking and heating.
The energy options for both electricity generation and fuel for cooking are many, but those which have been proven to be sustainable are few. For off-grid electricity generation small hydro, small wind energy generators, solar PV and small diesel sets can be found in many places. Regarding fuels for cooking, it is expected that biomass will be the main fuel for the foreseeable future, with the use of improved cooking stoves important for energy efficiency and energy savings.
Policy thinking in the energy sector over recent years has been significantly affected by the massive technical changes that have taken place. A great deal of the change has been in the large-scale industrial sectors, but advances in small-scale technology have also increased efficiency and reduced costs, opening up the number of options for profitable small-scale, decentralised energy supply.
Decentralised energy services are provided to users by systems in which some or all of the major elements – energy source, governance, distribution and billing – are local, in close geographical proximity to users. In both developed and developing countries local conditions may favour decentralised systems:
• Decentralised systems based on small, modular, production units, can be more easily and rapidly installed, and can be more easily financed because of their low unit costs.
• Decentralised systems are better adapted to using dispersed renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power. Such systems are less vulnerable to supply disruptions, and thus contribute to local energy security.
• Decentralised systems often provide more local employment and higher national value added.

In countries with low population densities and/or low purchasing power of consumers, as is the case in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, extension of centralised systems, for instance national electricity grids, can be prohibitively expensive. In these cases, decentralised systems can be an attractive economic option for delivery of energy services.

Though decentralised energy systems can be, in some circumstances - notably for poor, sparsely populated, rural areas – the most effective option for energy service provision, it is important to keep in mind that decentralised energy systems are not synonymous with renewable energy. Some renewable options cannot provide some of the energy services that are required locally, such as mobile shaft power.
1.2.8. Economic motivation
Clean technologies will not appear in the market just by themselves. Specific measures have to be taken first to introduce them: legislation, helpful tax system, grants etc. The first precondition consists in a change of the economic environment.
For the market economy to contribute to emission reduction efficiently, the price of the goods must include the environmental damage. At present, the services provided to us by natural ecosystems (e.g. absorption of CO2 by forest ecosystems) and public goods (e.g. stable climate) are standing outside the world of finances and prices. Because the use of fossil fuels does not pay for the damage it causes, it has a competitive advantage against clean sources. It is therefore necessary to include the ecological costs, directly or indirectly, into the economic considerations of companies, managers and every household.
Suitable political measures should serve for this purpose. One of the possibilities is connected with different models of trade in emissions. Another is the ecological tax reform that would gradually transfer a part of taxation of work and profit onto CO2 discharge or energy consumption. There is also an opportunity to cancel subsidies for productions or companies that consume excessive amount of energy or burn fossil fuels only. OECD has calculated that removal of these subsidies in itself could reduce the World´s emissions much more than the Kyoto Protocol.
Introduction of a market price for GHG emissions will also help the industry because a price that is predictable in long terms stabilises the market. The companies can include it in their long-term cost and investment estimations. The ecological tax reform will not only support development of highly effective and clean technologies but also reduce taxation of work, so it motivates new jobs formation.
At the same time we need to open the way to the market for low-carbon technologies. Examples include laws to support renewable energy sources that were approved in the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain and other European countries. They form a reasonable guarantee that the investment into wind-power stations, biomass boilers and similar projects will pay back, and thus they motivate the investors. Similar legislative standards will make the producers of refrigerators, cars and other goods to supply products with lower energy consumption or lower emission.
A combination of targeted legislation, including of the emissions into the prices, and investment into research and development will start energy-efficient production and innovation. This will support economic growth and new industries with a high value added, open the global market with new products and create more jobs.
1.2.9. Take a lesson from false promise of biofuels
The complexity of the problem of climate change could be well described on an example of biofuels where we can show that not every solution which is presented to the public is environmentally viable and climate friendly. Biofuels have recently become a popular issue. Indeed, at first they seemed to provide a solution to two major global challenges of our time: the climate and energy crises. With increasingly ambitious goals of biofuel use in transport being formulated, especially in the developed countries, and plans to grow the necessary commodities being implemented on a large scale, serious doubts have arisen concerning the benefit of biofuels for ensuring energy security and mitigating climate change. Moreover, it has become clear that the biofuel boom has been at the origin of another global challenge: the food crisis.

Adverse effects of the biofuel boom
Analyses clearly show that the EU and the US would hardly be able to meet their biofuel goals without importing large quantities of biomass and biofuels from third countries.
The EU’s domestic production now covers only 3% of the total consumption of (first generation) biofuels. At the same time, an OECD report states: „in Europe, for instance, the area dedicated to growing oilseeds for energy use already uses 22% of the land planted in oilseed crops. To meet the EU’s target volumes for 2012 would require dedicating 84% of the area currently planted in oilseed, clearly an unrealistic outcome. Therefore, extensive imports will be needed to fill the gap”. Even under the most optimistic scenarios, the situation is not about to change dramatically after 2012. According to the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) , to meet the demand corresponding to a 10% biofuel goal in transport, the EU would have to reserve 35% of its agricultural land for the production of biofuels.
Therefore, in order to cover its future biofuel needs, Europe will depend on massive imports. Projections set out in the EU Biofuel Strategy suggest that, to meet its 2010 goal, the EU will have to import at least 30-50% of biofuels. In 2020 the EU will need 20.6 billion litres of biodiesel a year to fulfil its commitment , out of which 4.1 billion (20 %) is expected to come from Malaysian and Indonesian palm oil, and 0.5 billion litres would be imported from elsewhere. Approximately 5.7 billion litres should be covered by second generation biofuels. Domestic sources are expected to account for a maximum of 9 billion litres, i.e. less then 50% . Therefore, biofuels in no way constitute a way towards the EU’s energy security. The same holds true for the US. So far the US has been able to cover its quotas from domestic corn production; experts estimate, however, that this will not be possible in the future. This year a whole third of US corn production was used for biofuel production, while in 2007it was 24% .
Biofuel production clearly competes with agricultural food production. Both sectors need the same inputs, namely agricultural land and water. This is why there is pressure to increase food prices, as well as pressure on biodiversity and environmental degradation caused by deforestation, peatland drainage, monoculture planting, the use of artificial fertilizers, etc. An increased demand for biofuels also has indirect impacts on environmental degradation. In food production, for example, the EU has to replace rapeseed oil, increasingly used for biofuel production, with palm oil imported mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia - countries infamous for deforestation, peatland drainage and subsequent planting of more and more hectares of oil palm monocultures.
As for the potential to mitigate climate change, biofuels do not offer much hope either. If their whole life cycle is taken into account, including the direct and indirect impacts created by land-use change, the greenhouse gas savings are very low or even negative .
As we can see indirect and unintended consequences of policies motivated by concerns about energy security and climate change have contributed to a competition between crops for food and crops for fuel. Rising fuel prices have been another factor contributing to the food price increases. Looking ahead, the impact of likely changes in energy prices from anticipated global mitigation efforts along with the corresponding changes in other commodity prices on the price of food, is an area that requires further analysis. In addition, climate variability and early signs of changing weather patterns will likely contribute to further uncertainty in crop yields and volatility in food prices. Implications of a combination of all these and other factors for the poorer population groups need to be better understood and addressed on a country-by-country basis.
2. Global agreement on climate change

The high greenhouse gas emissions and the climate changes caused by them are a worldwide problem that must be resolved on an international level. The instrument or political forum whose goal is to prevent serious and unforeseeable impacts of climate changes is a process of multilateral negotiations conducted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This should result in a new agreement of the contracting parties replacing the current Kyoto Protocol and becoming valid in 2013.
Determining the obligations of the various countries is governed by the “common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities” principle that the entire Convention is based on. The Convention sets an ultimate objective of stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at levels that would prevent “dangerous” human interference with the climate system. Such levels, which the Convention does not quantify, should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner. To achieve this objective, all Parties to the Convention – those countries that have ratified, accepted, approved, or acceded to, the treaty – are subject to an important set of general commitments which place a fundamental obligation on both industrialized and developing countries to respond to climate change.
Another principle stemming from the agreement is that developed countries undertake to provide financial and other support to developing countries above and beyond any official development aid. This concerns in particular support in adapting to the negative impacts of climate changes in countries that are the most vulnerable, and aid in transition to a low-carbon model of development via access to modern technology.
2.1. The Kyoto Protocol
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol shares the Convention’s objective, principles and institutions, but significantly strengthens the Convention by committing Annex I Parties (industrialized countries with binding commitments listed in Annex I of the UNFCCC) to individual, legally-binding targets to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Only Parties to the Convention that have also become Parties to the Protocol, however (that is, by ratifying, accepting, approving, or acceding to it), are bound by the Protocol’s commitments, once it comes into force. The individual targets for Annex I Parties are listed in the Kyoto Protocol’s Annex B. These add up to a total cut of at least 5% from 1990 levels in the commitment period 2008-2012.
Countries included in Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol and their emissions targets
Country Target (1990 -2008/2012)
EU-15, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Monaco, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland -8%
Canada, Hungary, Japan, Poland -6%
Croatia -5%
New Zealand, Russian Federation, Ukraine 0
Norway +1%
Australia +8%
Iceland +10%

The Protocol also establishes three “flexible mechanisms” known as Joint Implementation (JI), the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Emissions Trading. These are designed to help Annex I Parties cut the cost of meeting their emissions targets by taking advantage of opportunities to reduce emissions, or increase greenhouse gas removals, that cost less in other countries than at home.
Kyoto protocol could be seen as needed but only a first step which needs to be significantly improved in the “second commitment period”. The future protocol or regime should take a lesson from the lack of ambition, unexpected harmful (environmental and social) consequences of the Kyoto protocol and its mechanisms (e.g. offsetting the North GHG emissions through eucalyptus plantations in Brazil) and various loopholes which has undermined the overall aim of the Convention which is to reduce GHG emissions. As an illustration: thirty Kyoto protocols would be needed to stabilise the concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere at twice the level it stood at the time of the Industrial Revolution.

2.2. Bali Action Plan as a roadmap to Copenhagen

In 2007 there was held a meeting of the contracting parties of the Bali Convention, at which the Bali Action Plan (BAP) was formulated. This plan lays out the path for a final agreement on climate changes. The plan contains four "building blocs" of future agreement along with a mapping of the negotiations process.
The central point is the shared vision or the determination of long-term and mid-term objectives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Based on scientific studies carried out by the International Panel on Climate Changes (IPCC), it is necessary to maintain global increase of the average temperature up to the end of the century in the range 2 °C to prevent hardly manageable climate change. To reach this goal emissions have to be reduced by half of their 1990-level by the year 2050.
Another point consists in adaptation measures to ongoing and unavoidable changes in the atmosphere. These measures mainly concern developing countries. It is in these very countries that it is necessary to begin to construct an infrastructure resistant to the frequent and extreme fluctuations in the weather and to adapt their economies and local communities to new, harsher natural conditions.
Transformation of the energy system and adaptation to rapidly changing natural conditions also require modernisation in the area of technology that developing and developed countries will share. This technology transfer depends mainly on an increase in funds for research and development, sharing information and informal cooperation of research institutions and experts from various countries, on creating an appropriate environment for investing into modern technology and, last but not least, on increasing institutional and personnel capacities in developing countries.
The final and most pressing question within the multilateral negotiations is that of finances. This consists of the creation of a financial architecture within the UNFCCC that covers costs related to the adaptation measures in developing countries and to the transfer of technology. The EU, as the world's largest economy, has an irreplaceable role in this process. They must confirm their role as a "leader" next year with a pro-active approach to obligations concerning a reduction in emissions in their country, effective assistance to developing countries to enable them to adapt to the effects of climate changes by instigating a development model independent of the burning of fossil fuels.
The current phase of negotiation under the UNFCCC is set to lay the groundwork for the necessary policy reform and will require concerted and cooperative efforts by individual countries, the business sector and civil society. As negotiations accelerate in the lead-up to the Copenhagen meeting in December 2009 and beyond, economic and trade-related policies and instruments have emerged as crucial issues for new global framework. Effective and successful implementation of mitigation commitments presuppose adoption of certain policy measures (incentive-based instruments) on a global level aimed at enhancing efficiency in the generation and use of energy, developing and switching to clean energy sources, reducing emissions from agriculture and forest sectors; developing and transferring clean technologies to developing countries; and creating domestic and global markets for low carbon goods and technologies.
Negotiations under the UNFCCC experiences divisions between science and real politics, lack of trust between developed and developing world, different concerns among emerging economies and the least developed countries, various businesses and sectors of human activity. International community with respect to science, current and anticipated impacts of climate change should ensure both environmental and development integrity of the post-Kyoto regime, in spite of numerous competing interests. There is a strong need to find win-win solutions in terms of both supporting good development and reducing global GHG emissions. Although poor developing countries contribute the least to GHG emissions, some development programs – such as expanding access to clean energy as well as financing improved forest management programs - present good opportunity to achieve both.

3. Czech share of responsibility
The main responsibility for warding the strong global climate changes off lies on the states that emit the biggest amount of greenhouse gases. First of all, they themselves must reduce the pollution and they also have to help developing countries to adapt to the changing climate.
In absolute figures, the Czech Republic belongs to small polluters. It emits only about 120 million tons of CO2 which is about 0.4 % of the World´s discharge of greenhouse gases . Nonetheless, the absolute figures are not very meaningful measures. The Czech Republic is a small country so it naturally will have only relatively low emissions. But this does not give the country any right to get rid of responsibility. Every American citizen, who produces about 20 tons of CO2 per year in average (which is not much in absolute figures either), could refuse reduction of emission for the same reason. But if all Americans, one after another, refused their participation in the reduction of emissions saying that their contribution is negligible and their reduction does not help anything, the result will be one quarter of the World´s pollution.
That is why the correct measure is how much emission the given country discharges per one inhabitant. Then we get a completely different scale: the Czech Republic with about 12 tons CO2 per one inhabitant (or 14 tons of GHG in CO2e) and year belongs to “record holders” even among the EU countries, to say nothing about comparison with developing countries. When taking cumulative emissions of CO2 per capita from energy sector since 1850, Czech Republic, with its long lasting industrial tradition holds the fifth rank in the whole world.
There are two main reasons for this relatively high Czech pollution: the biggest portion falls to 14 obsolete coal power stations. They emit 52 million tons of CO2 per year which is more than one third of the Czech Republic´s emissions. The Prunéřov power station, which is the biggest fossil source of the ČEZ company, produces almost 9 million tons of CO2 per year, i.e. approximately the same amount as all Czech cars in total.
Ironworks, chemical factories, heating stations, pulp and cement factories are also among the worst producers of carbon dioxide. Moreover, the Czech economy absorbs a huge amount of energy, i.e. also of fossil fuels. The specific energy consumption of the Czech GDP is almost twice as big as it is in the first fifteen EU countries.
The Czech Republic and its representatives, Czech government and members of the Parliament, must claim responsibility that the Czech Republic, as one of the main polluters, has for consequences brought about by the global climate changes. It is necessary to take action in three main areas.
4.1 Czech development co-operation
We have to help poor countries to cope with the climate fluctuations. The Czech government should include in its development policy and assert within the EU necessary projects, active approach to the climate changes and updating of methodology. Investment into the poor communities´ transition to low-emission development model will help developing countries to ensure accessible electricity and heat without dependence on expensive fossil fuels and to increase good chances for socially and environmentally sustainable economic growth.
Based on the amount of emission and economic strength of the single countries, the international organisation Oxfam has calculated how much the individual industrial countries should contribute to the developing world for necessary adaptation measures. The corresponding Czech share is about 3 billion CZK per year. So the Czech budget should consider an amount of approximately this size. But financing of adaptations must not be a sector of the official development assistance that would compete with the other development projects for the financial means. It must represent extra expenses that are not included in the framework of the Czech obligation that is to provide 0.33 % of the country´s gross national income for the official development aid by the year 2015. But at the same time it is necessary that the Czech and European development co-operation projects take into consideration their impact on the poor communities´ ability to cope with the respective climate change.

4.2 Czech contribution to the international agreement
The international community prepares a new contract that will link up with the Kyoto Protocol after the period for its fulfilment expires at the end of 2012. In the global debates, the Czech Republic must strive actively and efficiently for an agreement with such obligations that would keep the global warming below the level of 2 degrees Celsius. The Czech Republic should play active and constructive role within EU for ensuring fair and ambitious regime after the end of first commitment period of the Kyoto protocol.
This new binding framework must take into consideration the differences among the single states. It is not possible to give everyone a square deal but at the same time, no part of the World can be left aside. Some quickly growing economies, especially China or India, belong to important polluters at least simply because they are huge. No effective global agreement will do without meaningful obligations on their side.
That is why the new agreement should include all countries but it is necessary to set different rules for different groups of countries and to offer them different levels and characters of aid to fulfil the obligations.

4.3 Czech carbon budget
The Czech Republic, as one of the European “record holders” in GHG emissions, bears a greater deal of responsibility than a number of comparable economies. It has to act from entirely practical reasons first of all – if the international negotiations are to succeed, then the countries that belong to the main polluters must be the good examples. And naturally, this concerns the Czech Republic, too.
The government must motivate the citizens effectively to reduce their consumption of harmful products and services and to force companies to innovate and invest in highly effective and clean technologies. In this way, an important market, perspective area in the industry and services are bestirred and new jobs will be formed. Making effective and clean technologies cheaper and more accessible, together with a positive development in the global market, will help the developing countries very much, too.
The industry needs a long-term perspective for its investments. That is why the government should work out so-called carbon budget and prepare new legislation that would determine how the Czech emission will be decreasing in gradual steps – several-year running average will probably be concerned. The target must be set in such a way so that it helps to keep the temperature growth below the two-degree limit. A good example is the law that the British Parliament adopted in the autumn 2008 with support from both the government and the opposition.
The rules will not determine which technologies the companies should use to achieve the goals or what concrete measures the next governments should take. They will only give the framework for the pace in which the pollution must decrease. So both the economy and lawmakers will thus have latitude for decision-making. At the same time, the companies will be given long-term certainty about the pace in which the reduction of emissions will continue and therefore they will be able to plan their investments better. The voice of the World´s business, The Economist, notes: “that is why such targets are not majestic political gestures but a pragmatic attempt to solve a practical problem.”