Home2025 – join our conversation and help set the agenda for real climate action: Mark Kenber

24 March 2016

Today The Climate Group launches Home2025, an online platform for business and policy experts to discuss how we can massively reduce emissions in the home and its connected systems. Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group outlines why Home2025 is such an important project and what it aims to achieve in the crucial coming months. Find out more about Home2025.

Before the global COP21 climate talks in Paris last year, the entire sector was focused on securing an international deal and ambitious action by national governments. And while real progress was made in the form of the historic Paris Agreement, attention must now turn to delivery. This is not least because we know commitments made in Paris are not on their own sufficient to ensure we restrict global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius. 

The Climate Group already has ambitious campaigns and programs in place around the world to support major corporates and sub-national governments in their rapid transition to the prosperous low carbon economy. But we want to do more.

Home2025 is driven by the conviction that we must broaden engagement with the climate challenge. We know homes are responsible for around 17% of global emissions. And the number of households globally is projected to grow by 68% by 2050. That is almost twice the rate of population increase.

Furthermore, if we only focus on the 17% emissions from final energy consumption in the home, we're missing the 50-80% of emissions savings opportunities in creating low carbon systems around the home – which consumers are increasingly poised to also impact.

Yet the policies directed at efficiency only take into account a limited – and fragmented – set of actions by citizen-consumers, who now have the potential to do much more.

This is particularly disappointing when you take into account the fact there is real consumer appetite for low carbon goods and services. As a result, many people are excluded from meaningful choices about how they can contribute to creating a safer world. It also means that many are denied access to the economic and health benefits that low carbon homes can deliver. 

leading the way to low carbon homes

It is not possible to identify one pathway with a prescribed set of technologies and infrastructure that will deliver low carbon homes for citizens in both the developed and developing world. The situation is complex. But this is where governments need to think differently about reaching emissions reduction targets. We believe they can create the conditions for citizen consumers to drive change in the infrastructure and systems around them. And progressive companies will provide their customers with the solutions to do this.

We know there are many companies and governments in The Climate Group’s network already leading on enabling citizen-consumers to take action. For instance, SolarCity’s panels on homes not only help the consumer produce their own electricity, the company estimates that revamping the electricity grid to encourage ‘prosumers’ could save US$4.1 billion for Californians alone.

On our Home2025 online platform you will find contributions from organizations that are deeply involved in different aspects of making the low carbon home a reality. You will see reports that set out the economic opportunity and health benefits associated with retro-fit and refurbishment. You will see information about how innovation in building materials and construction systems can radically change the environmental impact of new-build options. You will see how much potential there is for new business-models to help home-owners access renewable energy and thereby reduce emissions – as well as save money.

And above all you will see there is real cause to be optimistic about what we can achieve together.

But more action is needed for the low carbon home to become a realistic option and obvious choice for the majority. So we’re working with others to set an agenda for action by bringing a wide range of experts to the Home2025 conversation to identify the most important issues – and accelerate the most effective way forward. 

Please contact us if you would like to contribute to Home2025 or get involved in making lower carbon homes a reality. You can help create homes that can be cheaper to run, healthier to live in and positive for the climate, without compromising quality of life. That is something worth striving for – and something that should be available to every one of us. 

For information please contact us at home2025@theclimategroup.org

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