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COP21: The road to Paris is paved with good intentions

10 December 2015 | Viewpoint

 

Road to Paris 2015

In advance of COP21 in Paris countries around the world have submitted plans for how they intend to reduce carbon emissions at a national level, in order to address the global challenge of climate change. But when added together the impact of those plans are not likely to be sufficient to maintain warming below a two degree threshold.

 

In this blog series experts from the Carbon Trust explore some of the areas of opportunity to accelerate action and increase ambitions, overcoming the barriers to creating a sustainable, low carbon economy.

 

Titans or Titanics

Day 1: Business leaders need to set a course to prevent corporate titans from sinking like the Titanic

By Tom Delay, Chief Executive

Despite strong words from a number of leading businesses this week in Paris, we are a long way from where we need to be in terms of action. Some corporate titans will capture the commercial opportunities in a world that takes action on climate change, allowing them to survive and thrive in a sustainable future. Other businesses, that may seem unsinkable today, will go the same way as the Titanic.

 

Supermarket consumer purchasing decisions

Day 2:  Consumers behaving badly

By Jamie Plotnek, Corporate Communications Manager

Smokers keep on smoking. Drinkers keep on drinking. And consumers keep on consuming, which results in the emitting of emissions. But to deal with the challenges of climate change we are going to need to fundamentally change consumption patterns around the world.

 

Day 3:  Global warming's terrifyingly wrong maths

By Paul Huggins, Associate Director - Programmes

Adding up emissions numbers can lead to some serious consequences for businesses. It isn’t as straightforward as 2+2=4, but when you scrutinise the numbers in detail then it can do some real damage to company value.

 

United Innovations

Day 4:  Global Challenge. Global Collaboration.

By Alessandro Casoli, Strategy Manager - Policy & Markets

We’re at crunch time. It’s not 1992 anymore: either we get the foundations for the low carbon transition in place over the next 10 years, or we can kiss goodbye to the 2 degree target.

 

Routes to zero carbon 2050

Day 5: Is it really possible to make a business plan for zero carbon? Four practical tools that corporates are using to create a roadmap to 2050

By Hugh Jones, Managing Director - Business Advice

It is becoming increasingly clear that without mobilising huge efforts from the private sector it will not be possible to contain global warming to no more than 2 degrees. However companies need to see value of action – or the risk of inaction – before they alter a business-as-usual trajectory that has in the past delivered results.

 

Low carbon city potential: Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Day 6: A Tale of Two Cities

By Bruno Gardner, Managing Director - Low Carbon Workplace

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. So begins Charles Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities, set in Paris and London during the French Revolution. Fast forward to the 21st century and Paris, London and many other cities are undergoing a very different type of revolution – this time an environmental one. And it is still the best of times and the worst of times.

 

Abu Dhabi

Day 7: Smart is Beautiful - low carbon cities as if people mattered

By Joseph Williams, Manager - Programmes

To have any hope of meaningful action on climate change then we will need low carbon cities. But what comes first, the low carbon city or the low carbon citizen?

 

Low carbon technology innovation

Day 8: What can song lyrics teach us about how to solve climate change?

By Peter Hambly, Director of Marketing & Communications

There is often a serious underestimation of the amount of investment needed into the marketing of low carbon solutions such as energy efficiency. Despite the fact there is often a rock solid business case and a number of long-term benefits, it is surprisingly difficult to get people to dance to your tune.

 

Day 9: Why Irish farmers matter in Paris

By Michael Rea, Chief Operating Officer

Irish farms might not be one of the major topics of discussion at COP21, but Ireland’s approach to sustainable agriculture is setting increasingly high standards for how to practically address one of the most significant sources of emissions.

 

Farmers in India

Day 10: How can I help my grandfather to grow rice more efficiently?

By Manu Ravishankar, Associate - Innovations

The story of farmers in India and the impact of energy subsidies epitomises the challenges of implementing a global deal to tackle climate change against a backdrop of competing national priorities. If we are going to make progress at the rate we need to then it is necessary to take a whole system view when dealing with energy transitions, working at the nexus of policy, regulation and technology

Connected globe for international carbon reduction

COP21 Round-up: The Paris Agreement - What Does it Mean for Business?

By Simon Retallack, Director - Latin America, Policy & Markets

The Paris Agreement is also the first global agreement on climate change that involves contributions to act by all countries – resulting in a tapestry of measures that will place countries well down the path towards a low carbon economy.


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