Recently ratified by major emitters such as China, India the U.S. and Europe, signatories to the Paris Climate Accord now need to deliver on their pledges. But how? And what will this mean for businesses?
The climate deal struck last year in Paris will take effect from 4 November 2016. The commitment requires countries to reduce their aggregate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – including carbon dioxide, methane and other gases that trap heat in the atmosphere – which are produced through the burning of fossil fuels and/or other industrial processes or land use change.
So far so good, but how will they deliver on their promises?
Given that businesses and the products they produce are accountable for a lion’s share of emissions, they will inevitably be expected to shoulder a lot of the burden of GHG emissions reduction.
Businesses cause GHG emissions through their use of electricity that is generated at coal, oil or gas power plants; from their vehicles and other transportation; the buildings they occupy; various manufacturing processes; their use of steel, cement and other compounds (that emit GHG’s in their production and/or use); and in their development and use of land.
The products businesses produce can, in turn, result in the production of GHG emissions while in use: car makers are an obvious example, but so are the manufacturers of air conditioners, TVs and thousands of other consumer products that rely on GHG-producing sources of energy or which are made with compounds and chemicals that can leach GHG’s into the atmosphere either during production, in use or after disposal.
The lesson for businesses is clear: plan for a much lower emissions future and develop a clear roadmap for achieving it. Changing the light bulbs is no longer going to cut it, and a whole of business approach is required including changes to the organisation’s product and service portfolio.
Call Adaptive Capability today to develop the strategy for your business.
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