November 4, 2016 marked an important day on which the landmark ‘Paris Climate Agreement’ became an international law. This probably highlighted for the very first time that countries are serious about combating climate change by cutting man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other global warming gases.
Under the landmark COP21 agreement, 195 nations have agreed to limit greenhouse gas emissions and focus efforts and investments toward a low-carbon, resilient and sustainable future. The goal is to keep global average temperatures from rising well below 2°C with the aim of working to limit it to 1.5°C.
The Paris Agreement coming into force a year after the historic negotiations and decisions at COP21 in the French capital, marks a major milestone for countries, cities and companies. Going forward the next question must be on how to translate this agreement into an actionable timeline. Next week, the world meets in Marrakesh, Morocco, during COP22 to do just that.
The agreement has raised the bar for countries, cities and companies to come forward with plans, strategies and clean technology to achieve a low-carbon future. Suddenly there is a sense of urgency and everyone is talking about improving energy efficiency and tightening their carbon emissions. Applying energy efficiency does not only help us accomplish more with less. It also does our climate a favor.
Going forward COP 22 needs to be a COP of Action. To seize the huge potential of energy efficiency, the key word here is policy action – which needs to be adopted on a global, national and regional scale by cities, political parties and companies. Solving this challenge is well within our reach; if energy is used more efficiently, it could deliver 38% of the emissions reduction needed by 2050 to keep the planet within the 2°C scenario of global warming.
Figures from the International Energy Agency indicate that only one-third of the global energy efficiency potential will be reached through the current policies. But once the right policies are in place, we have the technologies needed to make it happen.
Energy and environment solutions provider Thermax Ltd has been in the business of providing green, energy efficient solutions for the past 50 years.