Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), said the coal conference suggested governments were more interested in protecting the interests of the fossil fuel markets than seeking to slash fossil fuel subsidies that are still six times higher than those enjoyed by the renewable energy industry.
With many businesses increasingly losing confidence in the United Nations summits to provide a signal for investment, Sawyer said markets have found other motives to back clean energy.”I don’t believe [COP 19] will have any positive impact on investment,” he told BusinessGreen. “The signal that it will send to investors is that, as we have seen since Copenhagen, they have to look elsewhere for drivers in renewable energy. Fortunately there’s a great deal of elsewhere to look now, because of the competitive prices of [wind, solar and hydro] plus the energy security, economic development and local industry development arguments.
“Climate was of course one of the main drivers for development of renewables in the 1980s and 1990s, when it was on the top of the political agenda, but I’m afraid as the NGOs said, coal smoke obscures climate ambition in Warsaw.”