Thursday, May 31, 2007

Coorporate Climate Response: Employing Energy Efficiency

One of the main themes of the first day of this conference has been energy efficiency improving corporate efficiency. This case, as argued so stongly by Amory Lovins et. al., is simultaneously encouraging and disconcerting. There was very little actual talk about climate change. Whilst, little conversation on the climate science is perhaps a good thing-there is no distracting debate-it is also a problem. The more we seperate the climate crisis from the case for business action (using an intermediary existing business consideration) the colder the case for action seems to me. I could get passionate about saving the rainforests, my fellow human beings and our civilisation. I would find it less easy to take the degree of action required in the name of saving some money.

This is perhaps the devide between business world and climate change campaigner; being an optomist the search for money has never been a weakness for business! Niggling final question--how many of these people know the science and see the enormity of the challenge?

Here is a great background on the latest science by the UK's leading climate policy institution, the Tyndall Centre. It explains that the govornments 60% by 2050 target implies atmospheric co2 concentrations far beyond any safe (or non-catastrophic level). It is woefully inadequate. Can business act fast enough, it is preparing answers would be perhaps (but with significant changes to many business models) and no (at least not to a significant degree).

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At 10:13 AM, Blogger Brian Kealoha said...

According to the American Solar Energy Society (, the impact energy efficiency can have on greenhouse gas emmissions is more than all renewable energy systems combined. That's powerful. However most of the attention around energy and public policy typically revolves around renewable energy systems. The two should be packaged together to maximize the reduction of carbon emissions as well as improving the ROI of the combined projects.

You can learn more about what you can do to be more energy efficient at where we are helping cool the planet through efficiency and sustainability.

At 7:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corporate response and society’s response are tightly inter-woven. Where costs can be saved, such as through efficiency, this is clear a case for business to act in their own self-interest. However the degree of change in the whole of society that we must make is massive. This requires action from government, business and all of us. The best analysis I have come across is in the book Adapt and Thrive: The Sustainable Revolution by Peter McManners. The book puts business forward as the ‘primary agent for change’ in building a sustainable society. I have just finished reading it. What a refreshing viewpoint. It cuts through the corporate greenwash to come up with real proposals.


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