All posts by Austin Wilson

The New European Energy Debate

On May 6th The Brookings Institution hosted Denmark’s Foreign Minister, Martin Lidegaard. The subject of this event consisted of the Russian Ukraine conflict, climate change, and how these issues relate to one another. I was Impressed to hear the foreign minister discuss the various policies that the Danish government has implemented to combat climate change. Martin Lidegaard mentioned that Denmark, along with several other European countries, is rapidly phasing out fossil fuels and replacing them with renewable energies like wind energy.  Denmark plans to completely phase out coal by the year 2050. Supporters of this energy plan convinced parliament by focusing on the economic, ecological and infrastructural benefits of renewables. Lidegaard stated that renewables are beginning to be able to compete with oil and coal companies as more economical and practical options.  Martin Lidegaard said that through an aggressive clean energy program, Dennmark was able to keep their fossil fuel consumption at the same level for 20 years, despite significant economic growth.

I learned that the use of fossil fuels not only threatens our Earth but also the security of people in every country. We can see Ukraine as an example of how fossil fuels can have a powerful grip on governments. The best possible solution is investing in domestic renewable energy in replacement of coal, gas and nuclear energy. I felt inspired by this event because the foreign minister echoed my belief that a solution to climate change  is possible. Not only is it possible but the global economy can  benefit from a second industrial revolution where we rapidly improve the technology behind renewables and implement them in society.

I feel that the answer to global warming is going to come through the competitive environment of capitalism where various scientists and businesses are racing to find revolutionary renewable products that can replace fossel fuels. I walked away hopeful that as man kind, we can overcome this hurtle of global warming through our uncanny ability to use innovation to improve our lives.