‘The world has now worked out how to create wealth with fossil fuels’ says Peter Newman, Professor off Sustainability from Curtin University in Perth, Australia.
‘The evidence is now here that we are decoupling GDP growth from fossil fuels, for the first time in 200 years. Not only in the developed world but also in China, India and South Africa, he said at the first African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum in Tshwane.
‘This is the good news that help world leaders prepare for the Paris talks in December, when the phasing out of fossil fuels is agreed to by all nations’, he said.
‘How is this happening?’ Newman asked.
‘Coal is being phased out because renewables are now a cheaper and more reliable investment for the future, as well as energy efficiency.’
‘Across the world we are seeing the demonstration of zero carbon buildings and neighbourhoods at low cost with hi-Ion batteries now the next revolutionary addition making renewables available 24 hours.’
‘Oil is being phased out by the reduction in ear dependence and the growth of electric transport options’ Professor Newman outlined.
‘Cities in the developed world are reversing their urban sprawl and investing in quality, fast rail systems to overcome traffic problems. Peak car use and enhanced walkable cities are now indicators of wealth,’ he said.
‘But the extraordinary shift to electric transport in China (and now India) is showing how quickly oil can be phased out. The building of electric metros in 86 Chinese cities, the development of 11,000km of fats train systems, linking cities and the growth of 250 million electric vehicles (mostly electric bikes and scooters), is now helping clear the air as well reduce greenhouse emissions.’
Just as India’s cities are poised to take up the mantle of development with sustainable energy and sustainable transport, African cities, are similarly facing this new agenda.’
‘The key message I have’, Professor Newman said, is that African cities should be strong in their goal t lead the world to a more sustainable future. The evidence is now in that you do not need fossil fuels to develop African cities economically and socially.
Press Statement: by Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability, Lead Author IPCC, Perth, Australia