TED Conversations

Skye Kelly

Executive Director, Heal One World

This conversation is closed.

Can we expect emerging countries to curb their energy consumption, even though we had decades of flagrant use?

China, India and other emerging countries- from 3rd to 1st world in a flash- are beginning to start using resources the way we have here in the USA for decades now- some are just "basic" like indoor electricity and city infrastructures, to more grandiose things like air conditioning, SUV's and sky scrapers. With their immense populations all looking for the western way of life, mcdonalds and all- can we try and hold them to any consumption standards? To reduce fossil fuel consumption in particular. To learn from our mistakes? Should we offset them by making deeper cuts at home? Even if it is more costly upfront- how can we have them see that renewable energy may save a lot in the long run? Do you know of some countries at the forefront? I know of Germany, but in the emerging sector? It seems these countries maybe the tipping point for many issues regarding sustainability?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Sep 30 2012: Emerging countries are no longer following western countries example. Brazil is developing ethanol, China is building solar and wind farms faster than every other country, Middle east countries are working on solar and nuclear.... It is not as much as a moral issue it is just a physical issue: there is not enough oil and gas for every country with the level of consumption of western countries.
    The sources to reduce consumption in western countries are obvious: car consumption (US cars should use European standard around 4 liters for 100 km), reduce houses consumption by optimizing the use of electricity and reduce the needs to warm houses.. This "revolution" needs big investment that are very costly and also Research and Development and smart and innovative proposals.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.