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Insights from World Economic Forum: Transforming Energy Use for a Sustainable Future

A new report by the World Economic Forum, “Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2024,” highlights the urgent need for transformative changes in energy supply, demand, and distribution. To limit global warming to 1.5°C, emissions must decrease by approximately 7% annually, a stark contrast to the current annual increase of 1.5%. Energy-related emissions account for over 80% of global totals, and despite renewable energy production more than doubling over the past decade, it still constitutes just over 13% of total energy consumption, up from 9% in 2011.

With global electricity demand projected to more than double by 2050 due to population growth and increased electrification of transportation and manufacturing, renewable energy alone will not suffice to meet decarbonization goals. Effective management of energy demand is essential to accelerate progress. Enhancing energy efficiency is critical for both energy security and emission reductions and must be prioritized alongside the transition to renewable energy in the next decade.

Insights from the developing world are crucial as many of these countries are already pioneering energy demand transformation. Several energy efficiency initiatives are underway across the global south, particularly in countries like India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The Asian Development Bank’s report “Energy Efficiency in South Asia” showcases various strategies, including energy-efficient building codes, standards and labeling programs, and targeted end-use initiatives for appliances like cookstoves, lighting, and cooling technologies.

For developing nations, enhancing energy efficiency in tandem with renewable energy development is vital to balancing sustainability, affordability, and energy security while meeting development goals. The traditional link between economic growth and energy demand is being challenged, exemplified by India, where per capita emissions are significantly lower than the global average. Decoupling growth from energy demand necessitates substantial investment in energy efficiency, especially in new infrastructure and manufacturing.

India has implemented numerous initiatives to improve energy efficiency, such as the UJALA scheme launched in 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, aimed at replacing incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED lighting. This project has significantly reduced CO2 emissions, demonstrating the cumulative impact of small-scale actions.

India’s Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy (LTLEDS), presented at COP26, aims to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by 45% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. This strategy includes a focus on expanding renewable energy and promotes the Mission Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) initiative, which encourages everyday actions to combat climate change.

Improving energy productivity is not only environmentally beneficial but also economically advantageous. By 2030, adopting certain measures could lead to a 30% reduction in energy intensity and generate up to $2 trillion in annual savings. Existing technologies and solutions, particularly in sectors like industrial manufacturing, transport, and the built environment, hold significant potential for impact.

 

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Insights - Insights from World Economic Forum: Transforming Energy Use for a Sustainable Future
Anna Siampani
Anna Siampani, Lifestyle Editorial Director at the CEOWORLD magazine, working with reporters covering the luxury travel, high-end fashion, hospitality, and lifestyle industries. As lifestyle editorial director, Anna oversees CEOWORLD magazine's daily digital editorial operations, editing and writing features, essays, news, and other content, in addition to editing the magazine's cover stories, astrology pages, and more. You can reach Anna by mail at anna@ceoworld.biz