Last November 1st it was announced that the COP25 that is going to be held in December was moving from Chile to Madrid. Probably, this news has not had the repercussion deserved by the ” turbulent ” news both in Spain and in Chile, but taking advantage of the circumstance, I have animated myself to share some useful resources to try to have a more general vision of the degree of advance of the fight against the climate change, fight in which the renewable ones are key piece but much less the only open front.
So let us look at some tools that can give us a broader perspective:
- Climate Action Tracker (CAT)
Very useful to have a quick and visual view of current objectives
It also has a progress report by country (although all EU countries are grouped together). The best thing about these tools is that they are very simple and visual and you can see which areas need to be accelerated the most.
- TCEP (Tracking Clean Energy Progress)
I’ll tell you that it’s my favorite page as it focuses on the energy part. This is important to clarify because, although the energy part is undoubtedly the most important in climate change, is not the only one and that would also be for example agriculture, livestock and forests.
The TCEP is part of the IEA and you will see that it is a very careful and updated site that presents the state of the fight against climate change from the perspective of 39 technologies divided into 6 sectors. Each technology is assigned a status of green (on track), yellow (more efforts needed) or red (not on track).
In my opinion, the best thing about this tool is how well documented each aspect is. If we go to each technology, we will find a zoom on the state of advancement of the technology as well as a link to the Innovations gaps part, where specific developments are specified that are necessary to advance in that technology.
Of the 39 technologies monitored, currently 18% are on track, 48% in yellow and 34% in red.
- Innovations gaps in IEA
As we mentioned before, it is about zooming in on specific technological developments that are necessary for a particular technology to advance faster. As a sample, let’s check which gaps are identified for Onshore Wind
Quite fews gaps identified actually but most of them are related to key points to be addressed if wind wants to scale up
- Climate Policy Tracker (CPT)
It is a page that tries to agglutinate all the policies derived from the Paris agreement. That is why it only covers the countries that ratified the agreement (it still includes the USA although it seems clear that President Trump is going to withdraw). What I like most about the site is that it approaches policies from the point of view of their impact on companies and businesses.
After reviewing these pages, the picture is not very flattering as it seems that progress is slower than necessary. Several comments:
– It seems obvious that in order to mitigate climate change it is necessary to combine politics, technology and business. But which of the three is more important is no longer so obvious. Many people think that it is the policies but in my opinion, it is the technology + business that should lead and the policies should facilitate the advancement of the other 2.
– If we look at TCEP, the technologies that are best are those that have managed to create profitable and sustainable business models. Perhaps technologies such as Solar PV, lightining or energy storage started thanks to specific policies, but only through competitiveness can they be made sustainable and growing.
– Technological advances are key to making clean solutions equal or more competitive than dirtier ones. Without this ingredient, it will be very difficult to make the necessary changes in the time required.
Those of us who work in renewables tend to think that the great growth we are experiencing in wind and solar is enough to tackle climate change but it is good from time to time to take a little perspective and realize when we see the full picture that there is still a long way to go and we are also late …