Given the big failure of the Rio+20 conference, it is clear that a top down approach by national governments around the world alone won’t cut our emissions enough to avoid a rise of temperatures below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels.
Based on this, our civilization has to find a solution, or rather solutions to the climate crisis, if we do not want to end up like the people on Easter Island and other civilizations who collapsed.
This is why Ecofys, a leading consultancy in energy has been working on bottom up efforts and how they could help in solving the climate crisis. Their latest paper ” Bridging the gap “ proposes to scale up 21 existing initiatives to enable companies, cities, individuals to slash their emissions.
All of them have already been implemented in the real world and the first results are very encouraging. Increasing the scale those 21 actions could help bridge the gap between what national governments are willing to do on climate and what is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change.
As the Ecofys website notes, efficiency alone would represent a third of the proposed ambitious cuts. Solutions in this area include banning incandescent lamps globally, improving the efficiency of buildings, vehicles and appliances.
Renewable energy sources are not forgotten, of course. Solar PV could add up to 1,600 GW of capacity over the next eight years. Similarly, wind power capacity could increase by slightly over than a thousand gigawatts. Authors state that such targets are “ consistent with recent years “.
But an important part of the emissions’ reductions come from companies, cities and willing individuals that would organize themselves under existing organizations to offset their emissions or green themselves up.
A point that was particularly interesting given the recent campaign to end fossil fuels subsidies is that Ecofys calculated the impact such a move would have : up to 0.9 Gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year by 2020, making it one of the most important steps to be taken.