The energy sector is crucial for cutting global emissions. It's time to step up to the challenge

(CNN, 23 Jan 2020) The enthusiasm generated in Paris less than five years ago around global climate action has given way to frustration for many people. The gap between our current path and the road we need to take for a secure and sustainable future is widening instead of shrinking.

We have to achieve deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, but we'll never get there unless we take on and reach ambitious goals. The world must step up action — and it must do so urgently.

    At the heart of the matter is energy, which is responsible for more than two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions. To put the world firmly on track to meet international climate goals, the industry and governments need to take action to make sure those emissions peak as soon as possible and then work hard toward putting them into steep decline.

    Recent IEA analysis shows that we can cut energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by a third by 2030 through swift, smart policies from governments that give companies and investors the incentives and clarity they need to accelerate clean energy transitions. For energy companies, this means moving quickly to reduce emissions from their own operations while developing the clean energy technologies that can transform global energy. It won't be simple to navigate the changes this will bring for policy-making and business models, but I'm optimistic we can all rise to this challenge.

    Progress over the past 10 years has laid the foundations to make great headway this decade. Advances in technology and policies have made cleaner energy solutions like wind turbines, solar panels, lithium-ion batteries and LED lighting familiar parts of our world — and they are preventing emissions from spiraling off the charts. But more needs to be done.

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    CNN, 23 Jan 2020: The energy sector is crucial for cutting global emissions. It's time to step up to the challenge