SHIPPINGInsight ended its three-day conference facing the benefits of innovation, along with the reality of…
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Last week, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—the folks that pair science with climate change) issued their report stating that “We can halve the emissions by 2030 across all sectors… The time for action as now… as without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C is beyond reach.” And while the reporting covers the period leading up to 2019, the Panel did accept information submitted up to October 2021.
Yes, the emission numbers are up. But there were some positive notes:
“The unit costs of several low-emission technologies have fallen continuously since 2010. Innovation policy packages have enabled these cost reductions and supported global adoption. Both tailored policies and comprehensive policies addressing innovation systems have helped overcome the distributional, environmental and social impacts potentially associated with global diffusion of low-emission technologies. Innovation has lagged in developing countries due to weaker enabling conditions. Digitalization can enable emission reductions but can have adverse side-effects unless appropriately governed.”
There also seems to be some good news on the policy development front—even before COP26: “Policy packages tailored to national contexts and technological characteristics have been effective in supporting low-emission innovation and technology diffusion.”
What it does not, or could not, account for is that Life Happens. COVID, Putin’s war on Ukraine, China’s saber rattling, inflation, recession, gas and food shortages, and more. Despite our good intentions and aspirations, drastic action needs to be taken—but it needs to balance against our global realities over which we have no control.