In a moment of urgency, put energy efficiency first

(EurActiv, 12 Jul 2019) Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to achieve economic growth, decarbonise economies and meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, write Kim Fausing and Rachel Kyte.

Kim Fausing is the CEO of Danfoss. Rachel Kyte is the CEO and special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All.

As the world increasingly benefits from the price revolution in renewable energy and the world’s largest investors come to grips with the phase-down of fossil fuels, it has become clearer that we have the technology and the finance necessary to realise the Paris Climate Agreement.

Despite this opportunity, we are not acting with the urgency that the global climate emergency requires. Already, the economic and human costs of 1°C of warming are painfully apparent in the form of longer, severer droughts, life-threatening heatwaves, and ravaging climate fires.

Last year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on global warming left no place for policymakers to hide. The failing report card delivered by the IPCC warned that if we’re to limit warming to 1.5°C we must cut emissions by nearly half by 2030, and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

These stark findings sparked a global reaction, with citizens of the world demanding urgent action instead of the insufficient incremental efforts we have seen thus far. Our responsibility is clear. We must manage the growth of the global economy, provide hope and nourishment to all people and deeply decarbonise by 2050.

To achieve this, we need energy systems that support our climate goals, and which provide people with reliable, affordable and clean energy from the streets of Copenhagen to the villages of the Sahel.

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EurActiv, 12 Jul 2019: In a moment of urgency, put energy efficiency first