In the run-up to Global Climate Change Week, starting 20th September 2019, new data on global emissions has been made available, with some startling statistics.
The new PwC report, The Low Carbon Economy Index 2019, shows that despite the increased integration of renewable energy, which grew by 7.2%; global decarbonisation has slowed to its lowest levels since 2011. Overall energy consumption rose by 2.9% in 2018, with most of the demand growth met by fossil fuels, increasing total emissions by 2%.
“It’s worrying that progress on climate seems to have stalled. There’s a huge gap between the rhetoric of the ‘climate emergency’ and the reality of an inadequate global response.”, commented Jonathan Grant, Sustainability & Climate Change Director at PwC.“This is increasingly challenging for companies to manage, as they deal with both extreme weather impacts and growing climate policy risk. They are having to balance continued demand for business as usual and urgent calls for disruptive change.”
Global Climate Change Week – what is happening in the coming days?
Global Climate Change Week Strike
For one week, starting from Friday 20th September, millions of young people across the world will walk away from their school desks, and adults away from their jobs, to take the stand on climate change. It will be the largest single day of global protests against climate change in history, with children and adults alike demanding that governments take action to end the age of fossil fuel and reduce overall emissions.
For the duration of Climate Change Week there will be numerous strike events across the globe, raising awareness of the danger of global warming and the irreversible damage to our planet if temperatures rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
Global Climate Change Week, which has a strong focus on young people, is arriving within a few weeks of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Annual Summit. The event took place at the end of August and brought together young leaders who are intent on changing the world, engaging them in collaborative work to develop the courage, commitment and solutions to lead positive change in their communities and beyond.
UN Climate Action Summit 2019
To ramp up global efforts in tackling the climate crisis, world leaders will meet at the New York summit to report on their progress in implementing the Paris Agreement. They are expected to present concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined targets of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions by 45% over the next decade, and to net-zero emissions by 2050.
On Saturday 21st September, which also happens to be International “Zero Emissions Day”, young leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and activists will attend the UN Youth Climate Summit to discuss the climate emergency and showcase solutions to the key UN decision-makers.
Global Commission on Adaptation report
Earlier this month (September 2019), the Global Commission on Adaptation, a group of 34 leaders in science, business and politics, published a report on climate change adaptation strategies. The Commission calls on governments and businesses to take urgent actions to innovate and advance climate adaptation solutions in light of new research findings.
The report puts forward a bold vision for how to transform key systems to be more resilient and productive. The Commission found that adaptation can produce significant economic returns, for example, by investing $1.8 trillion in climate change adaptation globally from 2020 to 2030 could bring $7.1 trillion in net benefits. The overall rate of return on investments in climate change adaptation solutions ranges from 2:1 to 10:1, and in some cases even higher.
Decarbonisation through digitalisation
With the energy mix becoming increasingly complex, the only way towards a fully decarbonised economy is through implementation of advanced technology solutions. “There is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now, and will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies”, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“With the UK’s commitment to closing all coal-fired power stations by 2025 and the introduction of the legally binding 2050 net-zero emission target, we are proud to play a part in supporting the transition towards a decarbonised, decentralised and digitalised energy model. By working closely with our partners: industrial and commercial energy users, generators, distributors, transmission and grid operation networks, we deliver the technological solutions and services to help achieve the vision outlined in the Paris Agreement”, commented Michael Phelan, Chief Executive at GridBeyond.
GridBeyond is committed to the development of a shared energy economy, a model based on sharing, trading and renting energy by giving more flexibility to electric infrastructures and businesses. Our vision has always been to converge energy and technology, so that businesses can help advance decarbonisation and become more resilient and competitive at the same time.
The growing volume of renewables and their intermittent nature creates new challenges for the electricity networks. Our technology, connected to I&C sites and a hybrid battery network, helps the Grid to integrate intermittent renewable energy generation into the electricity mix. The Grid has a license obligation to balance supply and demand effectively, so by using intelligent energy platforms such as GridBeyond’s, businesses are incentivised to reduce demand during peak times.
In the UK, businesses use more than half of overall electricity consumption. By making their energy use flexible and GridBeyond enables the grid to replace standby fossil-fuel based power plants with renewables. This shared energy market is forecast at £5Bn by 2025 and the UK Government has committed to closing all coal-fired power stations by 2025 too.
For more information on how your business could participate in the transition to a net-zero system, request a call back from our friendly team.
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