Thinking of decarbonization as a titanic task that rests only on the authorities or large companies is a mistake, without SMEs and citizens we will not achieve the desired goal.
By Ximena Ruz Mirror
Santiago de Chile.- We committed to carbon neutrality by 2050. It sounds huge and that is why it seems like a challenge aimed at large companies and the State. Yes and no.
We know that the energy sector is the one that contributes the most to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We are talking about 77.4% of CO2 equivalent emissions both from electricity generation (based on coal, natural gas or oil) and from the use of fuels for transport, industry, commerce and homes. Will a country like ours be capable of tremendous transformation? Yes like?
To advance in this giant challenge there are things we can do from our different roles. Ordinary citizens, small and medium-sized companies, have much to contribute, mainly in relation to energy efficiency. It is one of the most efficient and effective tools for decarbonization, since it allows the same levels of service with lower consumption. It is estimated that only with the application of energy efficiency, GHG emissions can be reduced by 44% by 2040. To this we can add the efforts to incorporate clean energies that project a reduction of 36%.
For many years at the Sustainability and Climate Change Agency we have been working on Energy Efficiency as a path, not only environmentally responsible, but also as good business. Our main instrument is the Clean Production Agreements (APL) which, in their 20-year history, have proven to be a powerful tool for making Chile a more sustainable country. For example, 16 companies dedicated to food processing, thanks to their efforts within the framework of a Clean Production Agreement, managed to reduce energy use by 45%, or 26 berry producers in the Province of Ranco already have a photovoltaic project that injects electricity to its hydraulic pumps. During the past year, the companies that participated in our Voluntary Agreements achieved savings of 274,156 UF and a reduction of 106,537 tons of CO2 equivalent.
Thinking of decarbonization as a titanic task that rests only with the authorities or large companies is a mistake. It is true that the State has a fundamental and unavoidable role and that large companies are a key player, but without SMEs and citizens we will not achieve the objective. Each one of us and we must find how to make this contribution. My advice: it’s good to leave home.
Ximena Ruz Espejo is Executive Director of the Sustainability and Climate Change Agency