30 Mar Why Climate Action Will Shape 2020
The record flooding in Europe and the persistent heat waves in Greenland are only two of the many recent effects of climate change around the world. As the climate worsens every single day, companies across various industries can no longer delay their efforts in preparing for its adverse effects. In fact, 215 of the world’s biggest companies, representing nearly US$17 trillion (£13.3 trillion) in market capitalisation, have assessed the climate risks to their business to be around US$1 trillion (£78 billion), according to CDP. Given this, here are some more ways the changing climate will affect various industries and shape 2020:
Cheaper renewable energy
While it is true that renewable energy can’t replace fossil fuels just yet, society’s growing desire to use solar and wind power is undeniable. Futurism noted that in 2018, Britain generated twice as much energy from wind as coal. This major milestone greatly contributed to 2017 being the greenest year ever for the United Kingdom. Last year was also tagged as the first year zero-carbon electricity – renewables and nuclear – overtook gas and coal-fire power, according to The Guardian. As the demand continues to grow, renewable energy is predicted to become a real competitor in the fossil fuel industry. A recently published report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) expects the price of renewable energy to experience a noticeable drop this 2020, effectively putting it on par with, or maybe even cheaper than, fossil fuels. Should this prediction hold true, the fossil fuel industry would have to begin considering renewable energy as a new way to generate power.
Decreased carbon emission
The BBC reports that UK’s current target is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Thirty years from their set year, the UK government noted that greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 42% since 1990. To ensure that this progress continues, World Wide Fund UK pointed out that the government is focusing on a number of different policy areas, especially those related to the transport industry which is a major source of emissions for the country. The government also provides incentives to people and businesses who ditch their petrol and diesel cars for low-emission vehicles. This incentive will also have an effect on businesses, especially those in the road transport sector. Verizon Connect explains that these efforts are likely to lead to fleet businesses utilising technology to become more eco-conscious. They cite using GPS tracking systems to optimise routes as a potential reflection of this: planning routes with GPS tracking systems have been shown to reduce fleet mileage by up to 10%, lower fuel consumption, and reduce a fleet company’s overall carbon footprint. Although the government continues to fund the charging infrastructure needed for electric vehicles, it will still take a long while for the whole transport industry to be carbon emission-free. So, for now, they are relying on their policies and the transport companies’ compliance.
More conscious fuel consumption
Recently, the government implemented a policy change to achieve the target set by the Climate Change Act of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% compared to the 1990 levels by 2050. In our previous post ‘New Year, New Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation’ it was explained that this change in the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation policy entails an increase in the Development Fuel Obligation (DFO) to 0.08 pence per litre (ppl). In simple terms, UK suppliers are tasked to ensure that a certain percentage of road fuels contain the correct proportions of developmental standards. However, since no fuel in the commercial market qualifies as developmental fuel under the government standards, suppliers are left with no choice but to pay a buyout fee of 0.12 ppl pf fuel. The country’s continued efforts in implementing stricter policies regarding renewable fuel greatly encourage the use and development of biofuel and electric cars. A study recently published by Statista shows that the total biofuel consumption for transport in the UK peaked at 1,274 kilotons in 2018.
As the above stats show, the UK is making huge progress in becoming a greener and more sustainable country. But there is still a lot more to be done if we are to halt the effects of climate change.
Written by: Althea Miller