Reaching a global consensus on this highly-debated topic is an achievement in itself. But, agreeing to take on climate change is only a first step; nations must now invest in solutions that decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
With wind as one of the most attractive forms of clean and renewable energy on the market, how will this agreement impact LM Wind Power? Alexis Crama, VP Offshore Development and former head of Strategy, shares his view.
A long term framework
I read here and there mixed comments on the COP 21 outcome. On one side politicians, global institutions and organizations are applauding the deal; and on the other side some economists, investors and companies are expressing disappointment about lack of concrete measures to favor immediate investments.
In my view we should reflect back on the problem we are all trying to solve together on this earth: limiting global temperature rise to prevent devastating damages. This is a long term goal requiring a long term solution and long term implementation plan. I think that COP 21 is a great outcome as it does establish a solid foundation and framework with a long term vision.
Under the Paris Agreement, countries promise to:
- Limit global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius (and strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius
- Recognize the need to cap greenhouse gas emissions to a peak, before heading towards "zero emissions" (emissions offset by natural carbon capture and sink in ocean and forests) in the second half of the century
- Regularly review in an open and transparent way the level of progress to further raise country-specific contribution
Getting 195 countries to align and sign-off on an approximately 100-year framework is a really strong and encouraging achievement! This establishes the foundation, objectives and principles for addressing climate change, which fuels other major challenges such as migration, poverty and successfully building democracies.
Now for our business
Yes, we are getting impatient as we would like to start seeing business benefit tomorrow. And we still need to see how every country will translate the Paris Agreement into concrete implementation measures. But, we are starting to see steps among institutional investors, leading global utilities and top global companies with new large multi-billion dollar funding and new organizational structure change around renewable business — bold measures which will result in more private and public money poured into renewables.
Bottom line: The long term framework is established, the implementation roadmap is being built and some specific concrete measures are materializing with the first set of additional funding and higher renewable targets coming. It's a beginning of a long journey. It will favor large, long term renewable investment for which utility scale offshore wind is one of the most promising solutions. Overall this is good news for our business, but we need to keep focusing on making this source of energy more affordable.
We committed to the Paris Pledge for Action — an initiative intended as a political signal to demonstrate the breadth of support and scale of momentum for a transition to a low-emission and climate-resilient economy.
The strongest contribution we can make is to continue to make wind energy more compelling through technological innovation, supply chain and manufacturing optimization and product reliability which will help make wind the most competitive source of renewable energy for the world. At the same time, we need to look at our own operations and work to minimize our impact, like we are doing with our Sustainability program.