The previous two posts focused on numbers and technology. And, if this is what is driving climate change solutions, then surely we would have already implemented the proven, low cost and profitable solutions.
Unfortunately we are far from doing so. Various estimates, such as this McKinsey study, find that changes can be made using currently available technologies – and with a good rate of economic return to individuals or organisations – at more than twice the current rates of implementation.
It’s quite something of a paradox. We say that the cost of taking action on climate change is an impediment to business and society sustainability. But we also do not act when it is profitable and the financial rewards, through energy efficiency, can be achieved at low risk.
To bridge this action gap some experience from waste generation, recycling and disposal is very relevant. We often look at the world through only one or two lenses – measurable objective numbers and profit. But successful waste and sustainability interventions are doing far more than this.
These interventions actively consider the worldviews and perspectives that individuals hold. And they are considering the organisational culture or society’s developmental centre of gravity.
In other words, when we look at the world through four lenses, including things like:
- Personal beliefs and worldviews
- Individual environmental footprints
- Organisational profits
We get better results. It’s a big topic and, for more, please see this talk: A thinking feeling lean wasteline.
Image originally from Barrett Brown presentation to Integral Sustainability Colorado workshop 2006. Previous post in this series The Tech
There’s always a lot of innovation in a year but 2010 saw clean technologies take out 4 of the top 5 spots for venture capital funding.
At the same time very substantial implementation efforts were underway How about catching the train from China to London in under two days? Links between China, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma and Malaysia have already started.
Staying with China rail, it also announced the first fuel cell train on top of the world’s fastest train, More generally the country is about to pass its own clean technology targets by a large margin.
Transport also continued its electric push. For a big business plan example you can’t go past GE. The company is predicting $0.5 Bn in turnover from a business decision to buy (not sell) 12,000 Chevrolet Volts. Revenue is generated through the associated infrastructure and other spin-offs for the company.
Are we seeing the light? Maybe. And in practice (sorry) GE’s new LED bulb went on sale Monday 6 December. It’s statistics, 77% less power for the same amount of light, are not trivial. Especially considering the International Energy Agency finding that we could cut global electricity consumption by almost 10% with such changes.
2010 also may be the year when managing power demand – the times we all want to switch on appliances like air-conditioning together – finally came of age. Solutions such as standards and building demand started to mature and, for some big numbers, the Brazilian government announced a mandate for 62 million digital networked electric meters!
And lastly growth in renewable power generation continued to grow exponentially. The World Wind Energy Council is predicting over a 26% increase for 2010 which, on top of a measured 31% increase in 2009, continues the trend to double wind energy every 3 years.
Next The Mind; Previous The Money