2012 marks the end of an important year in raising awareness about energy issues. Energy was one of the key themes of the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil in 2012. According to organizers of the event, “energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access to energy for all is essential. Sustainabile energy is opportunity – it transforms lives, economies and the planet.”
The year also marked the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All, an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of increasing sustainable access to energy, energy efficiency, and renewable energy at the local, national, regional and international levels. According to the United Nations;
- Today 1.4 billion people still do not have access to modern energy
- 3 billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste as their main fuel sources
- Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions
- Millions of people are unable to afford electricity even when energy services are available.
The year aimed to engage government, the private sector and civil society partners globally to achieve three major goals by 2030:
- Ensure universal access to modern energy services
- Reduce global energy intensity by 40 per cent
- Increase renewable energy use globally to 30 per cent
The business sector is increasingly active in this area as well. Beyond individual company initiatives around energy and climate change, there are a growing number of business networks and resources focused on the topic.
- Caring for Climate: The Global Business Leadership Platform is a voluntary and complementary action platform for companies seeking to demonstrate leadership on climate change. The platform helps demonstrate how committed business leaders can advance practical solutions and shape public opinion and government attitudes.
- A Global Compact for Sustainable Energy is a framework for business action which defines, on an industry-by-industry basis, the actions that the private sector can and must take.
- There are a number of UN agencies and international organizations focused on energy issues including the International Renewable Energy Agency, UN- Energy, and the UN Gateway to Climate Change.
- The World Business Council for Sustainable Development provides a range of programmes and documents around the topic of sustainable energy and climate change including their Access to Energy Initiative
Despite 2012 being behind us, all of these initiatives are continuing stronger than ever into 2013. Business schools around the world are becoming more engaged in energy reduction and carbon neutrality projects. In this series of blogs, we will look at a range of schools doing some interesting work in this area from around the world.
– This is part of a series of blogs in 2013 focused on business schools and energy –