It doesn’t take much of a stretch of the imagination to think of a world powered by renewable energy. It is fast becoming necessary - to cut air pollution and combat climate change.
The facts are shocking - if fossil fuels continue to be extracted at the same rate over the next 28 years as they were between 1988 and 2017, average global temperatures would be on course to rise by more than four degrees by the end of the century. This has the potential to wipe out many species, cause global food shortages and mass migration.
California is a really exciting example of a state trying to change the status quo. It was wonderful to read about how Senate President Kevin de León has put forward a plan to produce 100 per cent renewable energy within California’s electricity grid by 2045.
Governments around the world have a huge part to play, but businesses also have the power to prevent catastrophic climate change.
But for the climate the sums involved and pace of change are nowhere near enough. Oil, gas and coal are still largely keeping the world’s lights on, cars running and homes warm. Coal and gas-fired power plants are still being built and planned, especially in the developing world where more than a billion people lack electricity. Though more and more renewable alternatives are starting to out-compete for investment.
Progress is happening on a huge scale, but we really need to go faster and harder to solve the problem of climate change. Market forces and advancing technology will help restructure the energy economy, but we all need to drive the pace of change even more. Not just by the stark realisation that the future we leave for our children and grandchildren depends on it - but also because of the cleaner, healthier and more abundant future for all that we can make in the process.