Climate emergency: take action, yes… but how?

06/11/2020

The urgency is no longer only climate-related but also health-related. Taking care of our planet also means taking care of our health and that of future generations. That is why all levers must be activated at the same time to accelerate energy transition: political will, economic involvement and civic participation.

 

POLITICAL WILL – A VITAL TOOL

One thing is clear: nothing will be possible without the strong will of every political leader if we want to reduce
the proportion of fossil fuels in the energy mix and drastically increase the role of electricity.

“In terms of transport, for example, fleet vehicles are leading the way as legislation alone is enough to replace a city’s or even a country’s bus fleet. Things can therefore be put in place very quickly,” explains Mark Smidt, Managing Director of Heliox, a company which produces recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Decarbonising transport, improving the thermal efficiency of buildings, developing renewable energy, making carbon capture and storage more widespread… all of this requires a genuine industrial strategy involving both public authorities and economic players.

In her inaugural speech to the European Parliament, the new president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, also set some ambitious targets: a minimum 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and the member states adopting a “Green Pact” to firmly ground the goal of climate neutrality by 2050.

 

COLLECTIVE PARTICIPATION

everyone’s participation is vital.

Nations setting the course, regional and local authorities taking action in terms of public transport and urban development, citizens recognising the lifestyle changes needed, scientists designing solutions, financial players investing in the search for innovative solutions, economic players working together to implement long-term and profitable solutions.

 

MASSIVE INVESTMENT

Energy production and supply, the building of new factories and the efficient procurement of materials and equipment all require massive investment.

“Decentralised market mechanisms, such as carbon pricing, are essential for lending impetus to change in key industrial sectors, given the multitude of decarbonisation methods possible,” explained Adair Turner, Director of the Institute of New Economic Thinking last September in his column for the French monthly magazine Alternatives Economiques, arguing “that drastically accelerated action is now needed”: all developed countries must commit to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and developing economies by 2060 at the latest.
The recent Energy Transitions Commission report entitled Mission Possible considers total decarbonisation to be technically feasible with existing technologies, even though some of them still need to become commercially viable.

“This target can still be achieved at a relatively low cost, provided the necessary measures are adopted without delay to implement rapid change”.
Adair Turner, Director of the Institute of New Economic Thinking

 

Read on more about this topic: “Climate emergency… no time to lose!”

Discover this 7th edition of Eurêka, dedicated to the industrial strategies
that will allow to achieve a low-carbon economy.

 

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