Reading about renewable energy in David Elliott’s book, which I reviewed recently, I was struck by this survey from 2017. The Danish energy firm Orsted conducted a survey of 26,000 people across 13 countries, asking them what they thought about renewable energy. They found overwhelming support for it in all of them.
Disappointing that nobody asked anyone in Africa or South America what they thought, but I guess Orsted were focusing on their main markets. Still, this is pretty impressive support. The lowest is Japan, which has been arguably the slowest major economy to get on board with renewable energy. But even there 73% of people want it. (More on this tomorrow)
And look at China – 93% of respondents want full renewable power. They know what they don’t want too: a remarkable 96% of Chinese respondents wanted to see coal power phased out entirely.
Whether the world gets 100% renewable energy is another matter, but we want it.
It’s not easy, but we know it’s technically possible. And it’s not cheap, but there’s no doubt that it is affordable if we choose to prioritise it.
If it doesn’t happen, it will be because a small minority didn’t want it, and they had the power and the money. This is why climate change is best understood as a struggle. It’s not just an environmental problem to solve, or a market failure. It’s a struggle between common good and private profit. It’s a fight against vested interests, the climate privileged elites who profit from destruction.