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Climate Action 2014-2015


MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION ENERGY EFFICIENCY – KEY TO CLOSING THE EMISSIONS GAP By Mark Radka, Chief, Energy Branch, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, and John Christensen, Director, DTU Partnership, United Nations Environment Progamme (UNEP) A number of countries have made pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, motivated by the Copenhagen Accord target of limiting the global average temperature to 2°Cabove its pre-industrial levels. Even if these pledges are strictly adhered to, there will be more to do if emissions are to be kept down. Countries must find extra ways to make progress towards the 2020 targets – in particular by exploiting all opportunities for energy efficiency. Since 2010, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has convened scientists from all over the world to assess if current pledges to reduce emissions are enough to keep the world on track to meet the target, or whether there is a gap between ambition and reality. The short answer is that there is a gap, and it is quite significant. The latest UNEP gap assessment in 2013 estimated it to be 8 to 12 GtCO 2 e by 2020. The analysis furthermore shows that if the gap is not closed or reduced significantly, the new global climate agreement stipulated to enter into force by 2020 cannot keep us on a maximum 2˚C path. The stark conclusion is that countries need to step up their action in areas where significant emissions reductions can be achieved in the short term. Stringent implementation of existing pledges will be important and the UNEP Gap Report identifies areas for action, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, fossil energy subsidies, and emission of methane and other short lived climate pollutants. The International Energy Agency’s Special Report Redrawing the Fossil-fuel subsidies 12% Upstream CH 4 reductions 18% Power generation 21% Efficiency 49% Energy–Climate Map (2013) analyses the short-term reduction potential for the same four key areas of action, and concludes that energy efficiency is the area with the largest potential. Many proven technologies exist for extracting more value in terms of the services that energy makes possible from the same amount of energy. The challenge, then, is to scale up action rapidly and on a much larger scale. 6% Road transport 14% Industrial motors 14% Appliances and lighting 15% Heating and cooking The paradox of energy efficiency is that it is relevant for most sectors but often requires coordinated engagement of a large and diverse group of actors. Increasing energy efficiency therefore presents a very different implementation challenge compared with energy supply, where decisions in most cases are centralised in large energy companies or government ministries. 78

MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FOR ALL A new initiative that aims to overcome some of these challenges – the Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform – was launched at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit, 2014. The Global Platform is a public-private partnership within the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative led by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. SE4ALL has as one of its three inter-linked objectives to be achieved by 2030 a doubling of the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; the Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform will help reach this objective. The Accelerator Platform brings together countries, cities and private companies with the support of international organisations and finance institutions. The Platform has a number of sector or technology-based accelerators currently covering five areas: Lighting Appliances and equipment Buildings Vehicle fuel efficiency District energy systems. These are exactly the areas identified by IEA as having particularly high potential. Additional accelerators are being developed for industry, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, and the electric power industry. Cities, states and regions around the world have been leaders in driving energy efficiency policies and practices within their jurisdictions. Many large and medium-sized cities have participated in C40 and ICLEI initiatives to improve sustainability and reduce carbon emissions within their jurisdictions. At the recent C40 Mayors Summit in Johannesburg, participating cities reported that they had collectively taken over 1,800 energy efficiency actions. The R20 members, along with the States and Regions Network, have taken similar action to reduce the threat and impact of climate change in their regions. What has often been missing from these efforts is strong collaboration between a public sector entity setting the policy and regulatory frameworks, and a private sector that is committed to driving technology standards, finding financial solutions, and responding to targeted incentives that aim to accelerate improvements. The EE Accelerator Platform aims to fill this space. A RAPID TRANSITION TO EFFICIENT LIGHTING Electricity for lighting accounts for at least 15 per cent of global electric power consumption and results in 5 per cent of worldwide CO 2 emissions (UNEP, 2012). A global transition to widely available efficient solutions in all indoor and outdoor applications by 2030 would lower electricity demand for lighting by over 1,000 terawatt-hours annually, and "Stringent implementation of existing pledges will be important." "55 developing countries have joined the en.lighten initiative with the intent of phasing-out inefficient incandescent lamps by the end of 2016." reduce emissions by 530 million tonnes of CO 2 equivalent. Widespread use of energy efficient lamps and lighting devices would cut household electricity bills by an annual US$120; reduce fuel imports, peak demand, and the frequency of power outages; and improve end-user welfare. A rapid transition to efficiency measures in the lighting sector would also save over US$230 billion in avoided investments in roughly 280 new coal-fired power plants. To date, 55 developing countries have joined the en.lighten initiative with the intent of phasing-out inefficient incandescent lamps by the end of 2016. Half of these countries are drafting or already implementing efficient lighting strategies with support from UNEP. Partner countries alone will save over US $7.5 billion and reduce emissions CO 2 by 35 million tonnes annually. During the Climate Summit another 11 countries joined the en.lighten initiative and more are in the process of engaging formally. THE GLOBAL SHIFT TO EFFICIENT APPLIANCES AND EQUIPMENT In 2012, non-OECD countries consumed more than half of the world’s electricity for the first time (IEA Key World Energy Statistics 2014). In these same countries demand will continue to grow the fastest in coming years, driven by economic development and the acquisition by millions of households and businesses of electricity-consuming devices that add markedly to the quality of life. If the millions of refrigerators, air conditioners, ceiling fans, and other appliances of tomorrow are as energy efficient as possible, consumers 79