WARNING that the world is not on track to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has urged governments to swiftly enact four energy policies that would keep climate goals alive without harming economic growth.
“Climate change has quite frankly slipped to the back burner of policy priorities. But the problem is not going away – quite the opposite,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven in London in June at the launch of an IEA report entitled Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map, which highlights the need for intensive action before 2020.
Noting that the energy sector accounts for around two-thirds of global greenhouse-gas emissions, she added: “This report shows that the path we are currently on is more likely to result in a temperature increase of between 3.6 °C and 5.3 °C but also finds that much more can be done to tackle energy-sector emissions without jeopardising economic growth, an important concern for many governments.”
The new IEA report oulines a scenario in which four energy policies are selected that can deliver significant emissions reductions by 2020, rely only on existing technologies and using technologies that have already been adopted successfully in several countries.
Report could offer stability
Yvo de Boer, who leads KPMG’s Global Climate Change and Sustainability practice, and is a former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention Climate Change (UNFCCC), commented on the publication of the report: “The IEA’s latest report demonstrates that a limited set of policy measures can help bring global temperature rise under control.”
“By implementing the recommendations of the report, governments can not only help to prevent run-away temperature rises but can also provide the stability and predictability in climate policy that many businesses are crying out for.
“The report’s recommendations comprise energy efficiency measures, limits on the least efficient coal-fired power plants, minimizing methane from oil and gas production, and accelerating the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies.
“These measures could also bring enormous opportunities for industries that can offer climate solutions. Building and construction, clean energy, automotive, engineering, chemicals and technology are all sectors that stand to potentially benefit and should anticipate this opportunity for growth and creation of long-term value.”
The IEA report can be downloaded from www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/name,38764,en.html.
Addressing climate risks: A business guide
Guidance has been issued by the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) and the Environment Agency intended to help UK environment and sustainability professionals develop a thorough business case – and recruit the support of senior management – for addressing climate risks.
Produced by IEMA with support from the Environment Agency’s Climate Ready Team, the Climate Change Adaptation: Building the Business Case guidance was developed as part of a Defra-funded project established to help businesses address the limitations, challenges, risks and opportunities presented by the changing climate. IEMA members were the first to find out about this guidance as a launch article appeared in the May issue of The Environmentalist.
Over 300 IEMA members contributed their experiences to shape the fourteen-page document. It directs environment and sustainability professionals through the framework, terminology and principles necessary to build successful business cases and provide leadership in this area.
Tips published as part of the guidance include:
• Understand your business – an essential starting point
• Engage widely across your business – build awareness, seek interest and share the challenge and use business-relevant language
• ‘Piggy back’ opportunities onto other projects and developments
• Don’t reinvent the wheel but do use existing decision-making opportunities
• Look for ‘early mover’ opportunities and do not under estimate the value of making a start e.g. through trial schemes or adaptation linked to wider initiatives.