NRDC: Countries need to do more, beginning with Rio+20 Earth Summit

WASHINGTON (June 11, 2012) - U.S. production of renewable energy has

increased by more than 300 percent in the past decade, but the United States
still lags far behind Europe and Indonesia and is only slightly ahead of
Mexico in the percentage of electricity it gets from renewable sources,
according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

European countries, led by Germany, get more of their electricity from wind,
solar, geothermal and other renewable sources than any other region in the
world, NRDC's global renewable energy scorecard shows. The United States got
about 2.7 percent of its electricity from renewables in 2011, making it No.
7 among G-20 member countries.

Renewable energy is expected to be a major issue at the upcoming Rio+20
Earth Summit in Brazil. NRDC is advocating for countries to adopt policies
to increase the percentage of electricity they get from renewable sources to
15 percent by 2020.

Already some smaller, non-G-20 countries such as Spain, New Zealand and
Iceland get more than 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources.

Favorable governmental policies and strong private-sector investments have
helped to increase the availability of renewable energy in the United States
and elsewhere, according to Jake Schmidt, NRDC's International Climate
Policy Director.

"Unfortunately, the very policies that have increased our renewable energy
supplies and reduced our dependence on dirty fossil fuels are now under fire
in the United States and elsewhere," Schmidt said. "That's not just a threat
to the thousands of new jobs being created by the renewable energy industry,
but also a threat to our health, our environment and our planet."

"At the Earth Summit, civic and corporate stakeholders must commit to do
more to increase electricity production from renewable sources," Schmidt

"A global agreement to spur this deployment would be helpful," he added.
"But it is more important that key actors come to Rio+20 with individual
country commitments to increase the amount of renewable energy to 15 percent
of total electricity by 2020- more than doubling what is predicted under
current trends."

To see NRDC's renewable energy scorecard in its entirety, please see

For details about NRDC's energy and renewable priorities at Rio+20,
including video of Jake on energy at Rio+20, see

And to read Jake's blog on Rio+20 and renewable energy, please see

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit
environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online
activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental
specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public
health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington,
D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing.
Visit us at

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