Closing the gap between ambition and action

Benedikt Gerber
Serafin von Roon
Michael Villa
Rigmor Haga

A new report from UN Climate Change shows countries are bending the curve of global greenhouse gas emissions downward but underlines that these efforts remain insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

According to the report, the combined climate pledges of 193 Parties under the Paris Agreement would increase emissions by 10.6% by 2030 compared to 2010 levels and could put the world on track for around 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century.

How can we keep 1.5 degrees celsius of global warming within reach? And how can we then break down these ambitions into clear actionable steps to ensure that all countries, companies and individuals understand the challenges and play their part?

According to Michael Villa, Executive Director of SmartEn, “we certainly need harmonized European rules in climate, in energy, in environmental policy. Otherwise market players providing solutions – technology and services – will not be interested in getting into 27 very different national frameworks.” He also adds, “we need to go towards a consumer-centric energy system, where the consumer will benefit from playing an active part in this clean energy transition and not be a victim of decarbonization.”

Serafin von Roon, Manging Director of the Forschungsgesellschaft für Energiewirtschaft (FFE) or the research association for the energy sector, agrees that cooperation is a crucial ingredient to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. He says, “for Europe, the meaning of collaboration will increase dramatically…because in all the scenarios syou see that the energy system is only affordable if we work together.”

Benedikt Gerber, Managing Director of eQuota, stresses the importance of clear communication. “I would encourage educating and informing the broader public and companies why it’s not a difficult and possibly more dangerous future we are heading for. Complex systems are not necessarily more complicated,” he says,

Sustainability Director at Easee, Rigmor Haga, adds some valuable insights on shifting our entire approach. She says, “we need to create the same proactive ownership of emissions as we have for financial performance. It’s not a tradeoff between financial and environmental performance. That’s one of the key things we need to be able to switch in people’s minds - you own your emissions the same way that you own your finances - they’re yours and you have to manage them.” 

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