21 Initiatives to Bridge the Gap

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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.

If you want to learn out more, check out their website as well as the paper that was published in Nature Climate Change.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.