Slump May Doom Clean Energy Initiatives

Some nations could fall back on fossil fuel
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2008 12:25 PM CST
The tower of a church is seen between chimneys of a coal power plant near Duesseldorf, Germany.    (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
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(Newser) – Just as global warming initiatives were gaining serious momentum around the world, the financial crisis looks like it's undermining both the political will and the math that support them, the New York Times reports. With gas prices plummeting, US automakers may be scaling back investment in new technology. In Europe, "industry is saying we can’t deal with financial crisis and reduce emissions at the same time," a UN official said.

Even alternative energy evangelist T. Boone Pickens has delayed plans for his giant West Texas wind farm. A meeting of environment ministers in Poland next week will demonstrate how much back-peddling there is on commitments to meeting goals. On the bright side, Barack Obama remains committed to adding green jobs as part of his economic stimulus package, and slowing energy demands could give developing countries "an opportunity to move away from coal," one economist says.