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When even conservatives spruik the cleantech revolution.

September 1, 2015

[Wind turbines in the Texan Oilfields]

 

Yesterday I found myself listening to US Consul General Hugo Llorens at Western Sydney University.

 

The title of the event was enough to get me intrigued - 'United States Perspectives on the Clean Tech Revolution' - but what really struck me was the energy with which Mr Llorens spoke.

 

To hear a moderate conservative talking with such conviction about the inevitability of the Cleantech revolution - and that it's happening now, not in some dim and distant future - reinforced once again my sense that the solutions to some of our most critical issues are already here, now.

 

Yes Mr Llorens had some fairly staid views on the continuing role for fossil fuels (or hydrocarbons as he termed them) and was maybe a little too simplistic in his example of biofuels as a cleantech solution. But the bigger picture he painted was of a significant, established and growing global cleantech industry that is no longer in thrall to the vagaries of fossil fuel prices. It's already starting to lead changes in the energy sector and with over 50% of new investment going into renewables globally, this trend is only going to accelerate.

 

Whilst I might disagree with his assertion that our use of fossil fuels is inevitable for the foreseeable future (I think cleantech will be more disruptive than that), I certainly came away more encouraged than I thought I would.

 

With people like Mr Llorens, with his strong background in the economy, commerce and defense, now saying the cleantech revolution is "inevitable", maybe stabilising the global temperature rise below 2°C is going to be achievable after all.

 

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