NEW YORK: ‘Using better energy, better’ is the low hanging fruit for prosperous businesses and an improved environment, underlines Steven Kukoda, Vice President, International Copper Association, in an exclusive Climate TV interview during Climate Week NYC last September.
“Energy efficiency is really critical to climate change mitigation,” he emphasizes. “There’s so much potential just using existing technologies, and being more efficient with the products that we have today.”
Climate Week NYC also hosted the first joint event of The Climate Group’s campaigns EP100 and RE100, where leading companies showcased the business case to double their energy productivity – which means getting more economic output from each unit of energy – and scale-up of their appetite for renewable energy, a move that locks in their energy security and lowers electricity costs.
During the special event, David Tulauskas, Director of Sustainability at General Motors showed how his company is expected to save US$2.8 million through a power purchasing agreement for renewable power in Texas.
The discussion also highlighted how the total demand for renewable energy created by all RE100 members totals to over 100 terawatt-hours, helping accelerate the global demand and the market for renewables.
“We really don’t need new Research and Development or new technologies,” continues Steven Kukoda. “If we can just invest in energy efficiency, we go a long way towards meeting climate change goals.”
The International Copper Association is one of the founding partners of United for Efficiency, a partnership “focused on market transformations towards energy-efficient appliances and industrial equipment, primarily in the developing world,” says Steven Kukoda. “Its goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 1.25 gigatonnes per year through energy efficiency.”
In an ever-transforming world where global energy use is set to increase by one-third by 2040, energy productivity becomes one of the most important steps to implement the climate goals agreed in Paris.
For example, a global switch to energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) technology could save over 1,400 million tons of CO2 and avoid the construction of 1,250 power stations.
Therefore, in order to meet the targets set in the Paris Agreement, energy productivity will have to improve by 3% annually until 2050 – and the private sector must play a central role in scaling it up.
“Everyone should invest in energy efficiency,” concludes Steven Kukoda. “From governments down to the private sector, organizations can do so much just by being more efficient with how they use energy.”