‘The End We Start From’ – A start, but the end isn’t yet in sight

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

For many cinema lovers, the film award season meant a cascade of glitzy ceremonies culminating with last night’s Oscars. For me, the spotlight has shined brightest on one film, not just for its cinematic excellence, but for its chilling realism. The End We Start From depicts a woman navigating an ecological disaster — and the societal collapse that follows — all while protecting her newborn. It garnered nine nominations at the British Independent Film Awards. Released at the start of this year, the film delivers a critical message at a critical time.   

Art imitating life 

It’s a story told with blockbuster flair and drama, of course, but one that forecasts a very possible scenario: where climate change breaches our daily lives, entering and destroying our homes. It issues an especially sharp warning for anyone close to sustainability and the energy transition. 

Stats and graphs are the language of experts. We need media that can demonstrate, vividly, the dire consequences of stopping climate action. There aren’t more pressing concerns – this is as urgent as it gets. The End We Start From underscores the need for collective action and climate advocacy, supported by evidence and real-world examples.   

Improving the everyday for everyone 

Embracing sustainability isn’t just about saving the planet, it’s about creating a better, healthier, more prosperous, and equitable world for everyone.   

Look at our current energy system, which is crippled by inefficiencies related to burning fossil fuels. These inefficiencies create waste on a breathtaking scale: approximately two-thirds of all energy generated is wasted. Everyone pays for that loss, from businesses to consumers. That’s why energy efficiency has emerged as a key part of sustainability — one that helps our planet and our pocketbooks.    

Imagine a future where your house or factory produces its own energy through renewable sources, like on-site solar or wind. You could closely manage your consumption, using only what you need, and selling any excess back to the grid for a bill reduction. Just as we should remind the public of worst-case scenarios, we must also sow a happier vision where everyone profits from cleaner and more efficient energy. 

Leaning in with full weight 

Importantly, we already have the emission-cutting technology to avert disaster. These technologies are proven, scalable, and maturing by the day. Businesses must now implement them — at scale and in lockstep. Electrification is one such transformation. We’ve already seen a strong shift toward electric vehicles, heat pumps, and electrifying industrial processes. By continuing to integrate renewable energy, digitalization, and automation, a clear path opens toward decarbonization. 

Neither business nor individuals should hesitate here. Far from a financial burden, I’ve seen first-hand how inserting sustainable principles into growth strategies directly boosts both growth and profitability, sparking innovation while futureproofing business. There’s heavy-duty research from McKinsey that shows this beyond doubt.   

The combination of electrification and digitalization, known as Electricity 4.0, could slash emissions by up to 70%. And, affordable investments in energy efficiency, microgrids, energy-as-a-service, and prosumer solutions aren’t just vital for the environment, but now come giftwrapped in economic incentives.   

Additionally, the policy landscape in Europe is changing, with initiatives like the Green Deal, Fit for 55, RePowerEU, Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive creating hard, actionable strategies for businesses — as well as penalties for non-compliance. It’s time for everyone to get on the right side of regulation.   

Where there’s (political) will, there’s a way  

But, to truly accelerate climate action, we need a unified political push across countries. And that’s where 2024 holds a unique potential for change. This year, national elections will unfold over 64 countries and the EU, representing nearly half of the world’s population. The outcomes of this will lay the tracks for the years ahead. 

The hopeful news is that polls within the EU show widespread public endorsement for climate action, naming sustainability as a foremost concern. If politics give voice to the people, this should trigger an escalation to combat energy waste and advance energy efficiency. As sustainability grows in the public conscience, I hope to see this reflected in more stringent and encompassing government action.   

Because this isn’t a matter for the future, but right now. By taking immediate and decisive action, Europe can begin to reverse its energy crisis, accelerate its journey toward net-zero, and reinforce economic growth. The will of the people is there; now politics and industry must act.  

End not in sight, but it could be soon 

Let’s build a future where nightmare scenarios belong only on the cinema screen — as entertainment, not warnings. Embracing sustainability and energy efficiency is not only a moral imperative, but a viable pathway to a more prosperous and equitable future for generations to come. 

Tags: , , ,

Add a comment

All fields are required.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.