Decarbonizing Economy: How to Combat Climate Change with Energy Management?

Today, it is widely acknowledged that to achieve global decarbonization, the world’s economy needs to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) demonstrated in its 2018 review that not only must these emissions be zeroed by 2050, but they also need to be significantly abated by 2030 if the world is to stay within a global warming trajectory of 1.5-degree.

Moreover, CO2 emissions should notably reduce by 30-50 percent by 2030 compared to the existing levels of today. While power generation represents 45 percent of reviewed emissions, decarbonizing energy for the demand side proves key across all economic activities – buildings and construction, industry, and mobility.

It is also found that – provided the right frameworks and innovative decarbonization strategies are put in place – savings on the demand-side are likely to yield additional consumer benefits (in terms of energy costs), hence facilitating rapid adoption. In other words, ‘building back better’ is as much about decarbonizing the economy as about fostering its transformation for the benefit of all.

An effort of such magnitude will necessarily build on all sectors of the economy, as supply and demand almost equally share current emissions. While supply-side emissions have long been under scrutiny, decarbonization of demand represents the major case for change in the coming decade.

Decarbonized Economy

Running On Thin Ice: How to Thwart Climate Change with Decarbonization?

Decarbonization of the economy seems to be a race against time undeniably. However, the sooner emissions are reduced, the lower the carbon budget depletion, and the higher would be the chances to remain within global warming limits. In this regard, 2030 is a critical milestone to achieve that requires us to undertake actions now.

While the global conversation has very much revolved on ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors in recent years, short-term action plans should still revolve around abating what can be done with current technologies and value chains available, what we refer to here as ‘easy-to-abate’ sectors, contributing significantly to global decarbonization.

In addition, since most of these sectorial transformations ultimately come at a net benefit for consumers, they are better to be understood as critical modernization programs which will not only achieve stringent decarbonization objectives but also fair redistribution, economic growth, and employment opportunities. And, climate change might be a historic opportunity in this regard, supported by the current low costs of capital. But, for that to happen, current policy frameworks must reflect these transformational objectives.

Efforts Driving Optimal Energy Management

Moreover, organizations are bringing climate change action and decarbonization to their corporate agendas’ forefront. As stakeholders and investors recognize the climate change risks and net-zero emissions future, organizations commit to taking bold climate change action. Therefore, as an increased number of enterprises target carbon reductions, buy renewable energy and activate their value chain towards net-zero, ambitious climate change action and decarbonization strategies continue to emerge across the world.

A few of them are doing this by following simple yet practical decarbonization strategies and processes. This might include:

  • Strengthening the regulatory system
  • Implementation of energy management systems
  • Moving towards renewable energy sources
  • Accelerated adoption of efficient technologies
  • Energy efficiency financing

We, at Schneider Electric, are competing to achieve net-zero emissions by enhancing our efforts in the decarbonization of energy and collaborating with organizations to assist them in accelerating their process to achieve their climate action targets with active energy management, decarbonization of supply chain, our climate change advisory services and much more.

But what does active energy management deal with?

Active energy management deals with analyzing where you are today and where are you heading in terms of decarbonization of energy and global decarbonization. It is a state of market convergence where organizations around the world are benefitting from controlling, optimizing, and financially saving money across their footprint for their supply, demand, and sustainability initiatives. To understand this in detail, let’s take up three of them one by one:

  • Supply

This basically concerns with, ‘from where do you buy the energy’, that maybe from utilities, deregulated liberalizing markets, etc. In this, pricing comes into play, thereby assessing the priorities with which you can save money for your footprint.

  • Efficiency

This deals with capturing project data, prioritizing energy conservation methods, controlling and optimizing energy consumption on a real-time basis, thus, benefitting a cost-saving portfolio.

  • Sustainability

This deals with managing resources to achieve goals you have set at the enterprise level or resource mitigation, looking at renewable or clean energy, compliance reporting and much more.

Collaboration for Accelerating Decarbonization of Energy

Schneider Electric and Walmart Inc. have announced a collaboration that will provide Walmart’s US-based suppliers with increased access to renewable energy, thus, enabling them to lead climate change action and decarbonization of energy. This ground-breaking initiative is called the Gigaton PPA (GPPA) Program. It is basically designed to educate Walmart suppliers about accelerating the adoption of renewable energy and renewable energy purchase through aggregate power purchase agreements by participating suppliers.

Achieving Climate Action Targets With Efficient Energy Management

Therefore, energy efficiency has a pivotal role to play in tackling climate change. And, considering the rising level of emissions, decarbonization of energy and achieving energy efficiency has become urgent than ever before. Though achieving these targets in the near future might seem challenging, it is practically possible to achieve them with the support of coordinated efforts, collaborations and active energy management. So, analyze your current status, set targets for the future, and embark on your journey to achieve climate action and energy decarbonization targets.

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