Reporting last month from the New York Times showed that the overall costs of “providing electricity from wind and solar power plants has plummeted over the last five years, so much so that in some markets renewable generation is now cheaper than coal or natural gas.”

And according to the (pdf), published in November, “Global installed capacity and production from all renewable technologies have increased substantially; costs for most technologies have decreased significantly; and supporting policies have continued to spread throughout the world.”

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“We urgently need a transition to clean energy in developing countries and one of the best incentives is globally funded feed-in tariffs for renewable energy.”
—Godwin Ojo, Friends of the Earth NigeriaFor Teske, such trends shows renewable energy can now “replace the large coal-fired power plants that are the main carbon dioxide emitters” and should allow governments to “feel more comfortable about taking on the tough emissions commitments that are required to combat climate change.”

As the What’s Next Forum report —titled —emphasizes, distributive and decentralized renewable energy systems have several key features which should make them attractive to less-developed and wealthier nations alike. According to the paper’s introduction:

“Solutions to the climate and energy crisis exist,” explained Niclas Hällström, director of the What Next Forum. “Among the most innovative ones is a mechanism to deliver international climate finance to Southern communities through feed-in tariffs. These are subsidies that cover the difference between actual costs and affordable, clean energy for people. It is a way to promote decentralised, community controlled energy and is the most effective and visionary approach to tackling the urgent need for transformation to renewable energy.”

“We believe it is possible and indeed crucial to transform our energy system to one which ensures access for everyone to sufficient energy to meet their basic needs for well-being and lives with dignity,” said Dipti Bhatnagar, Climate Justice and Energy Coordinator of Friends of the Earth International.

“We need an energy system which supports a safe climate, clean air and water, biodiversity protection, and healthy, thriving local societies that provide safe, decent and secure jobs and livelihoods,” she said.

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