Tackling Climate Change Via the Rapid Transition to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies
Climate change is increasingly being recognized as a growing environmental crisis that must be addressed. Studies have shown that the costs of addressing this problem are much less than the costs of dealing with the consequences. Because the major driver is the emission of greenhouse gases associated with the burning of fossil fuels, the most direct way to address the problem is to rapidly decrease the use of these fuels. This can be done via the adoption of a combination of energy efficiency and carbon-free energy technologies. Various barriers must be overcome to achieve the necessary energy transition. The relatively high cost of renewable energy has historically been one of these barriers. However, recent large cost decreases—especially for wind and solar energy—coupled with policy incentives have spurred the beginning of a major transition in our energy infrastructure. This presentation will discuss the various energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions and the hurdles that must still be overcome to accelerate the transition to a carbon-free energy economy.