As world leaders gathered for at U.N. headquarters for the 2014 Climate Summit an estimated 400,000 or so marchers paraded through the streets of Manhattan in New York City calling on governments, businesses and communities to take stronger actions to address climate change and a host of socioeconomic ills. The People’s Climate March NYC – which coincided with climate marches in major cities around the world – kicked off a week’s worth of public events under the umbrella of Climate Week NYC.
Inside U.N. headquarters, government and business leaders, including President Barack Obama, responded to U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon’s call to catalyze and galvanize climate change mitigation and adaptation action.
“Change is in the air. Today’s Climate Summit has shown an entirely new, cooperative global approach to climate change,” Secretary-General Ban was quoted in a news release. “The actions announced today by governments, businesses, finance and civil society show that many partners are eager to confront the challenges of climate change together.”
In the area of finance alone, a broad range of initiatives were announced. A coalition of philanthropic organizations – including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, launched Divest-Invest, an initiative that aims to divest from fossil fuel investments and reinvest those funds in clean, renewable energy, other climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation companies and projects.
A consortium of leading climate change nonprofits and multinational businesses joined to launch an initiative that aims to see 100 of the world’s largest companies power their businesses solely from renewable energy resources by 2020. Led by the Climate Group, the campaign — dubbed RE100 counts Ikea, Swiss Re, BT, Commerzbank, Formula E, H&M, Mars, Nestlé, Philips, Reed Elsevier and J. Safra among its founding business members. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) also are working with the Climate Group to see the RE100 through to fruition.
Other highlights centered on climate finance included:
- An initiative to mobilize more than US$200 billion in financial resources from public and private sources by the end of 2015. This includes new pledges for the Green Climate Fund, the de-carbonization of investment portfolios (moving assets out of fossil fuel-based investments), the continued efforts of national banks to invest in new climate activities, and wide support for putting a price on carbon emissions;
- A coalition of institutional investors has committed to decarbonizing $100 billion in institutional equity investments by COP 21 (December 2015) and to measure and disclose the carbon footprint of at least $ 500 billion in investments;
- Commercial banks will provide $30 billion in new climate finance by the end of 2015 by issuing green bonds and other innovative financing instruments;
- The national, bilateral and regional development banks of the International Development Finance Club announced they are on track to increase their direct green/climate financing to $100 billion a year for new climate finance activities by the end of 2015;
- The insurance industry has committed to double its green investments to $84 billion by the end of 2015 and announced that it would increase the amount placed in climate-smart investments to ten times the current amount by 2020. Developed and developing countries have started pulling together to capitalize the Green Climate Fund, by pledging several billion dollars;
- A group of developed countries announced a commitment of $2 billion to be channeled to the developing countries during 2014-2015 with strong focus on adaptation;
- Three major pension funds from North America and Europe announced their ambition to accelerate their investments in low-carbon investments across asset classes up to more than $31 billion by 2020;
- More than 70 countries and 1,000 companies endorsed the need for developing mechanisms that would adequately reflect the true costs relating to polluting and emissions; and over 30 leading companies endorsed the Caring for Climate Business Leadership Criteria on Carbon Pricing, which include setting an internal carbon price high enough to materially affect investment decisions to drive down greenhouse gas emissions.
Green Charge Networks recognizes the threats, and rising costs, climate change poses to global society. We believe intelligent energy storage solutions, such as our GreenStation offered through a power efficiency agreement, are a critical facet of initiatives that can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and forge a pathway towards a cleaner, more sustainable and resilient electricity system and energy future.
Importantly, we believe that making the transition from a fossil-fuel to a distributed, clean energy-driven economy will not only yield substantial social and environmental benefits, but can fuel sustainable “green” economic growth and sustainable development as well.
Our GreenStation intelligent energy storage system is reducing electricity bills across a growing variety of businesses, municipalities, colleges and universities – peak-power demand charges in particular. Much greater gains and benefits can be realized by installing intelligent energy storage systems nationwide.
Integrated with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and smart grid/demand response systems, intelligent energy storage systems can reduce energy and power consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Throw in electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, and the gains and benefits can be multiplied again by extending what are in effect distributed microgrids to personal transportation.
We’re excited to contribute to and be a part of a rapidly evolving clean energy sector. Browse through our website, or contact, us if you would like to find out more about our company, and how intelligent energy storage solutions can benefit you, your organization, your community, and the environment.