Dan Kammen, who leads the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at UC Berkeley, was just appointed by the World Bank to be its first Clean-Energy Czar.
The New York Times Green Inc. blog posted an interview with him today:
Q – One of the chief criticisms of the World Bank is that, even as it has increased funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in developing countries to $3.3 billion annually, it continues to provide significant funding for carbon-intensive projects like coal-fired power plants. Do you see a need for the bank to maintain financing for those projects?
A – This is really at the heart of the tension between traditional development — meaning more energy, more access, irrespective of environmental damage — and the emerging environmental mandate that we’ve got to cut our greenhouse gas emissions so dramatically. So you get cases like the very controversial $3.5 billion investment in coal in South Africa, and at the same time, how to build the emerging economies around solar, biofuels, wind, etc.
You can read the entire interview on the New York Times website.
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UPDATE: There is also an interview with Dan Kammen posted on Grist:
Q – The climate bill process fell apart in Congress this year and it seems like the U.N. process isn’t headed for a big treaty either. How can things actually get done?
A – There’s no simple answer to that. When we look back at the Montreal Protocol and CFCs, people thought that process looked impossible until a few companies and countries realized that cleaning circuit boards without CFCs might actually save them money and be more effective. A couple successes turned a story that looked like it was going to be a failure into one that we all look back now and say, “Oh, that was easy by comparison.”
I’m not sure exactly how many successes we need to tip the balance so that a big treaty is possible, but no group is better positioned than the World Bank to facilitate them.
You can read the entire interview at Grist.org.
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