In view of the influence and global reach of the private sector, its contribution to transitioning from a fossil fuel world to a low greenhouse gas world within a decade cannot be overstated.
Multi-national companies have been able to persuade Governments to subsidise fossil fuels, whereas the renewable sector has had less influence. But non-energy companies can have a huge effect by committing to use renewable energy and reviewing their operations and supply chains to minimise carbon emissions. Innovation and new technology can be supported by current companies and by initiatives that identify opportunities that might reduce carbon emissions.
Though these initiatives may not satisfy traditional financial models it is recognised within the Paris Agreement that there are “co-benefits for adaptation, health and sustainable development” (p15 109). For instance replacing petrol and diesel as vehicle fuel with electric vehicles could save many lives and increase healthy living in Cities across the world.
Renewable Energy in Global Businesses
RE100 have worked with Share Action to gather promises from leading Global Business, such as Google, Ikea, BT and Phillips to move quickly towards use of 100% renewable energy for their operations. And, previous to the Paris COP more than 100 major companies signed up to Science Based Targets to learn how to “set targets consistent with the level of decarbonization required by science to limit global warming to less than 2°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures.”
Investment in Innovation
A group of global business leaders formed the ‘Breakthrough Energy Coalition‘ in tandem with the governments of ‘Mission Innovation to invest their money where “potentially transformative energy systems is unlikely to meet the market tests of traditional angel or VC investors”. They will be “filling this capital need by coming together in a new coalition. We will form a network of private capital committed to building a structure that will allow informed decisions to help accelerate the change to the advanced energy future our planet needs”
The categories will be:
a.Electricity generation and storage;
e. Energy system efficiency
Bill Gates is one of the investors, and he discusses his thoughts on business action to develop clean technology at Bill Gates – We need an energy miracle Nov 2015.
Mission Innovation’s Seven Challenges at COP22 Marrakesh Nov 2016
The challenges were launched, as the “areas that could provide significant benefits in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy security, and creating new opportunities for clean economic growth.”
- Smart Grids Innovation Challenge – to enable future grids that are powered by affordable, reliable, decentralised renewable electricity systems
- Off-Grid Access to Electricity Innovation Challenge – to develop systems that enable off-grid households and communities to access affordable and reliable renewable electricity
- Carbon Capture Innovation Challenge – to enable near-zero CO2 emissions from power plants and carbon intensive industries
- Sustainable Biofuels Innovation Challenge – to develop ways to produce, at scale, widely affordable, advanced biofuels for transportation and industrial applications
- Converting Sunlight Innovation Challenge – to discover affordable ways to convert sunlight into storable solar fuels
- Clean Energy Materials Innovation Challenge – to accelerate the exploration, discovery, and use of new high-performance, low-cost clean energy materials
- Affordable Heating and Cooling of Buildings Innovation Challenge – to make low-carbon heating and cooling affordable for everyone
Supporting these initiatives the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures was announced at the PARIS COP by Mark Carney and chaired by Michael Bloomberg. “The Task Force will consider the physical, liability and transition risks associated with climate change and what constitutes effective financial disclosures in this area. It will seek to develop a set of recommendations for consistent, comparable, reliable, clear and efficient climate-related disclosures.”
Note: This is related to the Financial Stability Board which is “chaired by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England. Its Secretariat is located in Basel, Switzerland, and hosted by the Bank for International Settlements.”