Following the well-received news that 20 countries have pledged to stop financing overseas fossil fuel projects from 2022 onwards, CEO.digital took a look at the technological steps companies can take to help reduce the need for such financing projects – and therefore help the countries uphold their pledges.
Delayed by a whole year, the COP26 United Nations climate change summit, dubbed the biggest summit the UK has ever hosted and the most significant climate event since the 2015 Paris Agreement, is finally well and truly underway. The decisions being made could lead to changes in our everyday lives in a final bid to increase the planet’s longevity.
In order for the planet to heal, countries must ween themselves off of fossil fuels and leave them in the ground. But in the meantime, reducing fossil fuel reliance wherever possible is a crucial starting point.
The last 48 hours has seen a breakthrough 20 countries, including the UK, US, Denmark, Italy, Finland, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Gambia, and New Zealand, plus development institutions including the European Investment Bank and the East African Development Bank, pledge to end overseas fossil fuel funding starting in 2022.
Whilst this is an undeniably massive step in our climate fight, the role that corporations play into this is now paramount.
CEO.digital is here to spotlight this COP26 update to give you the latest on what this pledge means for businesses and technology companies. Here, we’re outlining the steps they should be taking in an attempt to lower their emissions and ensure a steady decline in fossil fuel consumption so that these 20 countries uphold their pledges.
Transportation Efficiency Technologies are the First Step
Whilst the promotion of renewable energy technologies is of course at the centre of the conversation, it is important to remember that traditional fossil fuels are still the world’s dominant source of energy, so increasing efficiency in this area is stage one of making a meaningful impact on emissions in the short term.
Transportation accounted for 28% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, and that figure has only increased since.
Not only do trucks, fleets, and the like consume copious amounts of fossil fuels for running alone, but they’re also incredibly wasteful through other assets such as unnecessary trips or idling vehicles, where they can give off excess emissions in the process.
Cue the investment into building and applying conscious transport management technologies such as fuel management software, sensors, GPS trackers, and other monitoring technologies. These will help managers examine fuel consumption from data reports to pinpoint areas to take action, like turning off vehicles where appropriate or navigating the shortest routes that don’t rely on as much fuel.
A Cut to Aviation Emissions Poses an Opportunity
According to a new Guardian article, a modest diet in our flying habits would be enough to level off the global heating caused by the aviation industry.
If we seek to fly less in the next 30 years, not only will we limit the extent to which air traffic contributes to global warming, but it also presents an exciting opportunity for tech businesses to step-up their virtual connection and Artificial Intelligence technologies to fill the gaps of distributed business and workflows.
In order for the planet to heal, countries must ween themselves off of fossil fuels and leave them in the ground.
Blockchain Could Be Key to Improving Sustainable Supply Chain Practice
Global supply chains are often subject to fraud and counterfeit, low quality, child labour, and an inexplicable carbon footprint. Blockchain has been dubbed as having the potential to relieve these challenges through increased efficiency and traceability.
As well as tracking compliance, the digital process enabled Jaguar Land Rover to assess the carbon footprint of its leather supply network, working with UK-based Bridge of Weir Leather Company to trace its lowest carbon leather from farm to finished article.
Development and implementation of blockchain is certainly one to watch in 2022 for enterprise commitment to reducing the environmental and ethical impact of products across their lifecycle, and in the progression of the COP26 fossil fuel pledge.
Fossil Fuel Use Must Be Factored into All Business Decision Making
It may sound obvious, but we recently touched upon an integral component that’s at the core of any transformative change being made when it comes to sustainable business – and that’s climate change being taken into consideration at any and every point of business decision making, no matter how big or small.
Our last article on the Cervest 2021 Climate Intelligence Outlook, published ahead of this week’s COP26, cited that in spite of businesses across the board growing fully aware of the enterprise risks posed by climate volatility, decision makers are still straining to factor in climate change.
Only when all stakeholders make an effort to minimise fossil fuel consumption and weave it into any progress, will change begin to happen. But for these 20 countries to uphold their pledges to stop financing overseas fossil fuel exploration and extraction, companies must take greater steps towards limiting their consumption and therefore reduce the need for countries to seek more fossil fuel sources.
The power is in the hands of the C-Suite. To assist elected governments, it just needs to put its mind to the task.