The global average temperature has risen 1.1ºC above the pre-industrial level, bringing climate change effects as melting glaciers and the rising sea level. Impacts of climate change is very widespread and includes flooding and drought, potential displacement of millions of people, plummeting them into poverty and hunger, denial to access to basic services of health and education, expanding inequalities, restrictiveeconomic growth, and rising conflict. As per many estimates 700 million people will be at risk of displacement by drought alone by 2030 and most of them will be from developing and underdeveloped economies.
To limit dreaded global warming to 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as set out in the Paris Agreement, as per UNEP estimates global greenhouse gas emissions will need to peak before 2025, declining by 43 per cent by 2030 and to net zero by 2050. Most of the countries are developing climate action plans to reduce emissions and adapt to climate impacts through nationally determined contributions. However, current national commitments are not sufficient to meet the 1.5°C target.
However, Climate change is a complex global concern, and it necessitates a multi-faceted approach to tackle the effects. The main contributors to climate change are depletion of forest reserve, burning of fossil fuel for power and manufacturing, inefficient transportation system, food production and ever-increasing demand of energy. These all factors have resulted in overexploitation of resources provided by nature.
There is a need of fast paced mitigation or adaptation strategies to be implemented across sectors. Since the major contributors (75% of greenhouse gas emission and 90% of carbon emission) in emission pie is from industries, world is looking at industries to act on climate change as earliest and as effectively it can. Sustainable approach to fight climate change should be not only to reduce greenhouse gas emission but also promote economic growth, social parity, and natural conservation.
Role of Renewable energy companies in combating climate change
In the battle against climate change, renewable energy companies are taking a leadership role by setting their own net zero goals and prioritizing end-to-end sustainable solutions. This article highlights the importance of companies within the renewable energy sector focusing on comprehensive sustainability measures, including supply chains, and explores the potential of green hydrogen as a transformative global solution.
Net Zero Goals: Driving Collective Action
To combat climate change effectively, it is crucial for renewable energy companies to establish their own net zero goals. These goals involve reducing greenhouse gas emissions and balancing any remaining emissions through carbon offsetting or removal techniques. By setting ambitious targets, renewable energy companies inspire others to follow suit and demonstrate their commitment to a sustainable future. Through collective action, the sector can significantly contribute to global efforts in mitigating climate change.
End-to-End Sustainable Solutions: Beyond Energy Generation
Renewable energy companies understand the importance of considering the entire value chain when addressing sustainability. To achieve meaningful progress, these companies are focusing on end-to-end sustainable solutions. This approach involves minimizing environmental impact at every stage, from raw material sourcing and manufacturing processes to product lifecycle and disposal. By adopting sustainable practices across the value chain, renewable energy companies ensure that their overall impact on the environment is minimized.
Circular economy approach
Renewable energy companies are increasingly adopting a circular economy approach as a powerful tool in combatting climate change. By embracing this approach, these companies aim to minimize waste, extend product lifecycles, and promote resource efficiency. Through strategies such as product design for durability, repairability, and recyclability, renewable energy companies are creating a closed-loop system where materials and components can be reused, remanufactured, or recycled at the end of their useful lives. This approach reduces the need for extracting and processing new raw materials, conserves energy, and minimizes carbon emissions associated with manufacturing. By integrating circular economy principles into their operations, renewable energy companies are not only reducing their environmental footprint but also driving innovation and creating new economic opportunities, contributing to a more sustainable and climate-resilient future.
Supply Chain Sustainability: Ensuring Responsible Practices
Companies within the renewable energy sector understand the critical importance of ensuring supply chain sustainability in their operations. They recognize that a sustainable industrial approach goes beyond their immediate activities and extends to their suppliers and partners. By working closely with suppliers, renewable energy companies aim to ensure responsible sourcing of materials and promote ethical labor practices throughout the supply chain.
RE companies also encourage suppliers to adopt sustainability practices and certifications. They may provide guidance and support to help suppliers improve their environmental and social performance. By promoting sustainable practices throughout the supply chain, RE companies contribute to a broader transformation within the industry and drive positive change across the entire value chain.
Overall, the focus on supply chain sustainability by renewable energy companies underscores their commitment to comprehensive sustainability and responsible business practices. By ensuring responsible sourcing of materials, promoting ethical labor practices, and collaborating along the supply chain, these companies play a crucial role in achieving a truly sustainable industrial approach. Their efforts not only help mitigate environmental and social risks but also contribute to the broader transition to a more sustainable and equitable future.
Green Hydrogen: A Game-Changer for Global Change
Green hydrogen has emerged as a promising solution to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. RE companies are actively exploring and investing in this technology. Green hydrogen is produced by using renewable energy sources to power the electrolysis of water, resulting in zero carbon emissions. Renewable energy companies recognize the vast potential of green hydrogen and its versatility in various applications. Green hydrogen can be used as a clean fuel for transportation, replacing fossil fuel-based vehicles with hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). FCEVs offer long driving ranges and emit only water vapor as their byproduct, making them an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.
Moreover, green hydrogen finds applications in industries that traditionally rely on fossil fuels, such as steel, cement, and chemicals. By using green hydrogen as a feedstock or fuel in these industries, renewable energy companies can significantly reduce carbon emissions and promote a more sustainable industrial sector. Furthermore, green hydrogen can be stored and utilized for energy storage, enabling a reliable and efficient integration of renewable energy into the grid. Renewable energy companies are actively embracing green hydrogen as a transformative solution to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing: Accelerating Progress
Renewable energy companies understand that collaboration and knowledge sharing are crucial for driving progress in combatting climate change. These companies actively engage in partnerships with governments, research institutions, and other industries to share best practices, promote policy advocacy, and advance renewable energy technologies. By working together, they accelerate innovation, facilitate market growth, and overcome common challenges, ultimately creating a supportive ecosystem for sustainable industrial practices.
Renewable energy companies play a pivotal role in combatting climate change by setting net zero goals, prioritizing end-to-end sustainable solutions, addressing supply chain sustainability, and exploring transformative technologies like green hydrogen. By collectively embracing these strategies, companies within the renewable energy sector are driving the transition to a low-carbon future. Furthermore, their commitment to collaboration and knowledge sharing amplifies their impact and fosters a global movement towards sustainable industrial practices. As we confront the challenges of climate change, renewable energy companies demonstrate that by integrating sustainability into their operations, they can pave the way for a more resilient and sustainable world.
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