4 Ways Society Is Achieving Sustainable Energy
In 2015, the UN unanimously created an agenda of goals to achieve by 2030 – this is what is now referred to as the Sustainable Developments Goals, comprising a total of 17 aspects to target. In hopes of reaching a more peaceful, just, and environmentally friendly world, many of these goals include gender equality, end of poverty, and 100% access to clean water, among others. As one of the current goals on the line going through a crucial moment in its development, today it is Goal 7’s turn to make its rounds: to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
With sustainability being a hot topic in recent years, boosting activities such as sustainable travel, transformational travel, and adventure travel, we want to shed light on Goal 7, not by listing how much is left to be done or how far we are from achieving it, but how far we have come and how much closer we are to achieving this goal in the 2030 agenda.
High-Level Dialogues on Energy
A new step that the UN is taking to compromise countries to speak with actions rather than words is the upcoming High-Level Dialogue on Energy happening in New York in September this year. A strategy has been set for 20 different countries to be divided into 4 categories that should be tackled directly by them: energy access, energy transition, inclusive and just energy transitions, innovation technology, and data, and finance and investment. With the help of stakeholders, governments, youth organizations, and the public, this initiative is looking to boost all efforts starting this year to achieve sustainable and affordable energy for everyone by the year 2030.
The UN has also recognized 2021 as a crucial year for the implementation of green energies around the globe. With a bruised economy starting to regenerate after a tough 2020, this is a breaking point on the way back up, as it would be much more profitable, eco-friendly, and ethical if done by means of developing sustainable energy. This way, the economic growth can be boosted by new jobs in the green energy industry while also helping it thrive and become more accessible and affordable in most countries.
Cheaper by the dozen
One aspect that will help give easy and affordable access to renewable energy is how rapidly its cost is decreasing. Ever since 2015, the price of solar panels has become 60% more viable as per Bill McKibben, renowned environmentalist and writer of Eaarth. This means that each country, depending on its unoccupied land, would be able to afford to install solar panels instead of relying on burning fuels to provide power. Even countries with very little space for many panels to be installed in proportion to the energy they consume, such as Germany, are already leaders of the renewable race, meaning space should not be a problem for anybody.
In addition, regardless of the energy deficit, some countries would face if they went completely renewable, it would only take a few subterranean or undersea cables to export energy from one country to another. Thanks to the advancement in technology in recent years, it has never been this cheap to go green!
Green mobility is king!
Another relevant contribution to sustainable energy and lowering gas emissions is ensuring mobility becomes green. With individual transportation being the highest gas emitter at 24%, offering easier access to cleaner options to the public is crucial in the race to reach the zero-emissions goal by 2050. Other tangents like shared transport (electric public bikes and a better and more sustainable transport system) and even designing more people-centered areas in the city are just a few of the options that are up for takes when it comes to improving mobility. During the pandemic, which forced a standstill on mobility, about 8% of gas emissions were lowered during lockdowns, and it was recorded that after this time about 14% of people started opting for walking places instead of taking their cars.
Sustainability up in the air
Lastly, the aviation industry is also committed to its share of lowering its carbon emissions by using sustainable energy. For them, it has been a process of trial and error to discover which tangent works better and more efficiently than fossil fuels. Although it may be a bit more costly at the right now (perhaps not in the future), United has already given using waste as fuel a try in order to lower their current contribution of 11% gas emissions from transportation. Airbus, on the other hand, has tried burning liquid hydrogen and asserts that they will be emissions-free by 2035.
It is inevitable to foresee a world where green energy prevails, however, time is running out for us to take this chance and subdue climate change. While the panorama tends to be discouraging on the news, taking a moment to appreciate the good that has been done and the pros that usually go unnoticed can go a long way for our outlook of the situation. We are indeed progressing, and it looks to be only upwards from here, for which we will cheer and contribute as much as we can, from our sustainable corner to yours!