The climate change issue will not be solved by simplistic solutions. Complexity is the culprit. Time to take climate action by first understanding the widespread nature and complexity of the problem. If making electricity accounts for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions and technical innovation is focused solely on this issue, what of the rest? The other 75%?
As Bill Gates writes:
“To prevent the worst effects of climate change, we need to get to zero net greenhouse gas emissions in every sector of the economy within 50 years—and as the IPCC recently found, we need to be on a path to doing it in the next 10 years. That means dealing with electricity, and the other 75% too.”
The other 75%
What other areas should we be rushing to innovate?
- Agriculture (24%)
- Manufacturing (21%)
- Transportation (14%)
- Buildings (the built environment – 6%)
- Miscellaneous (including the energy it takes to extract oil and gas – 10%)
“I think these grand challenges are a helpful way to think about climate change. They show how energy isn’t just what runs your house and your car. It’s core to nearly every part of your life: the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the home you live in, the products you use. To stop the planet from getting substantially warmer, we need breakthroughs in how we make things, grow food, and move people and goods—not just how we power our homes and cars,” says Gates.
Opportunity is a major business driver. Governments alone have committed to spending more than $3 billion a year. What climate action is Gates taking? He is involved in a private fund called Breakthrough Energy Ventures that has put up more than $1 billion to take great ideas to market.
The funding for climate action is growing and we all have a part to play. What’s your company doing to take action?