Around 11 incredible cities across the world are going to be underwater in a few decades, claim several reports that are tracking climate change. With soaring temperatures and rising sea levels, some parts of these cities have already begun sinking a few inches ever year. Natural disasters are wrecking lives in irreversible ways.
The rise in sea levels won’t be limited to just these 11 cities reported by WeForum of course.
A report by the New York Times shows some incredible scenarios for many areas in the world.
Alexandria – Egypt.
Talks on carbon neutrality, climate change, environmental threats, greenhouse gas emissions have been happening incessantly everyday – everywhere. Yet, global warming is steadily making its way and proving its presence with devastating environmental calamities all around the world. The persistent drought in Southwest was the worst in 1200 years.
Recent wildfires in California and Australia were aggravated as a result of global warming. Floods in Africa affected 700,000 lives, and then, there was the most unusual heatwave in Greenland – the Danish island hosting the second-largest ice sheet by size on the planet.
These disasters have left the entire humankind with a few questions.
Are we committed to being carbon neutral yet? Where have we reached in the journey? And, What is our roadmap to being Net Zero?
The emergence of ‘Net Zero’ as a concept
The term Net-Zero isn’t a new one. According to Merriam-Webster, it came into existence in the 1930s to describe carbon-neutral houses using the potential of Solar Energy. Though after World War II, the concept appeared to have withered, and there were hardly any discussions around it.
Though it resurfaced and came back to relevance in the latter part of the 1970s during the historic oil crisis. Amidst rising energy costs, petrol prices and awareness around environmental issues, need for Energy management became fundamental for countries and industries. Concerns over global warming and carbon continued to grow, and the criticality of becoming ‘net zero’ took foreground in the fight against climate change. The concept went at scale from just being used to describe buildings, to a whole host of systems, including supply chains, investments, organisations, and entire countries.
Virtually, the journey to combat carbon footprint began half a century ago when a report by Stanford Research Institute (SRI) cautioned, “man is now engaged in a vast geophysical experiment with his environment, the Earth” and that “significant temperature changes are almost certain to occur by the year 2000”.
So, where are we today?
Unfortunately, even with close to 50 years of strategising, climate scientists agree that there is very little chance the world can stay within the goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius, the limit they believe to be safe.
Building on the Copenhagen climate talks of 2009, 2015 Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an iconic environmental accord reflecting a rather optimistic vision for the planet. The agreement has marked a historic turning point for global climate action. The UN’s goal is to limit Earth’s temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels this century. Ideally we’d want to limit the rise to 1.5 degrees. Organisations are setting science-based targets based on the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), that independently assesses corporate emissions reduction targets.
However, reports still throw daunting facts about how the world is distinctly off-track in its trajectory to achieving the goals. The occurrence of visible natural disasters, backed by data that reflects a consistent rise in emissions, makes it clear that we are not acting quickly enough.
The roadblocks in the journey to Net-Zero
Approach to achieving Net-Zero is two-pronged;
- Cutting down on emissions by making a significant shift towards renewables and by leveraging technology to track, analyse and control your carbon footprint
- Removing the CO2 already present in the atmosphere or compensate for the industries that cannot have zero-emission such as aviation, petrochemicals, by creating carbon sinks
Over 175 organizations spread across more than 20 countries have pledged to become Net-Zero by 2050. The skepticism lies primarily on the roadmap to fulfilling the commitment. Being a net-zero country or a company requires fundamental shifts in how it operates. It needs a holistic approach with stringent policies, significant societal and behavioral changes, and rebuilding business models that align with environmental commitments.
There are three noted challenges faced by an organisation in the transformation. First, are the need for large scale investments and finances, given the size of the transition. Second, are the fragmented organisational structures making it an arduous task to track, record and analyse its carbon footprint, for future decision-making and better planning. Finally, it is the skill gap and the required tools for enhanced implementation of the action plan.
Digitisation – A key enabler for achieving climate goals
Digitisation remains at the forefront of this transformational journey. The need for deploying digital methods into every operation, transversely across industries, has never been so critical before. There are several studies and reports to prove how digitisation builds efficiency, a crucial component to realising the mission.
Digital transformation has been recognised as one of the most promising ways to cut emissions while generating economic growth. The World Economic Forum estimates that digitisation will cut emissions globally by 15% through solutions in digital energy, manufacturing, agriculture and land use, buildings, services, transportation and traffic management.
According to the report, the digital technology sector is probably the world’s most powerful influencer to accelerate action and to stabilise global temperatures well below 2°C. Advancements in technology are also set to take a definite lead in accelerating demand for 100% renewable energy.
Data and analytics play a crucial role in measuring and accounting for all the carbon emitted at different levels.
Role of Enkumo
At Enkumo, our aim is to help energy procurement and energy sourcing teams be successful by enabling them to achieve greater clarity and work efficiency when it comes to managing multi-site energy portfolios, and the journey to Net Zero requires a simple and transparent way to track, measure and analyze the overall company carbon footprint.
We help large energy consumers aggregate, store and manage their energy data, achieving superior clarity and transparency, combating challenges of a fragmented organisation. We strive to gather the vast amounts of energy data generated in an organisation scattered across sites, countries, commodities, files, all in one platform, as one single source of truth.
Our platform empowers our customers to control the company’s past, present, future, energy data, irrespective of how often they change energy suppliers or consultants.