According to Experto, if the way of living is not changed and industries continue to work in the same way, it is expected that the world temperature will increase from 3 to 4 °C by 2100, generating catastrophic and permanent impacts on humanity, according to the page of Weather Clock.
Santiago de Chile.- According to the Business Leader portal, it is estimated that since the 19th century, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, an example of this is the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. As a result, the temperature of the earth is now 1.1 °C higher than in the previous century, and the decade from 2011 to 2020 was the warmest on record.
In fact, in 2015 several artists, scientists, engineers and activists implemented a climate clock to show how much time we have left to stop climate change, this is in charge of monitoring global emissions and temperature data. In its last report of April 2022, it was estimated that as a society we have 7 years and 91 days before the global temperature rises to 1.5 °C, which is considered a point of no return.
In this scenario, the Universitat Carlemany promotes online spaces to discuss topics of interest on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is how Oriol Travesset, researcher at Andorra Research + Innovation and speaker at the most recent conference “Crisis and energy transition”, exposed the main reasons for the unsustainability of the current energy model, making it clear that the transition is part of the solution, but It should not be the only one to implement.
For Travesset, the strongest reasons for the unsustainability of the model are:
one. Depletion of fossil fuels, especially oil: the challenge will be to balance the demand with the extraction capacity to avoid rising prices. Costs have increased due to the need to incorporate techniques such as fracking, which has economic and environmental impacts.
two. Security of energy supply and geopolitical issues: A clear example is the war between Russia and Ukraine over the geopolitical drawbacks of the current energy model.
3. Global warming caused by CO2 emissions: the energy sector is responsible for almost three-quarters of the emissions that have raised the global temperature by 1.1 degrees since the pre-industrial era, with visible effects both over time and in climate extremes.
“In this sense, the energy sector has to be the center of the solution to climate change. Renewable energies and energy efficiency are an essential part of the solution, but deeper changes will be needed to move towards a sustainable model”, emphasizes the expert.
World energy context: figures that impact
During the conference, the researcher Oriol highlighted some data that should not be ignored:
• World energy demand has multiplied by 1.6 in the last 30 years.
• Transportation, industry and the residential sector are the main energy consuming sectors.
• Total world energy supply multiplied 2.6.
• The generation of electricity and heat represents around 42% of greenhouse gas emissions, followed by transport with 25%.
Observing the numbers we can realize the magnitude of the tragedy. However, there is the incentive of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically number 7 regarding affordable and clean energy. Its purpose is to show that, in order to guarantee universal access to affordable electricity in 2030, it is necessary to invest in clean energy sources, such as solar, wind and thermal. The adoption of cost-effective standards in a variety of technologies could also reduce global electricity consumption in buildings by 14%.
Despite the above, there are certain limitations, in other words Travesset explains: “this objective does not include the need to reduce demands -an aspect that is essential- on the contrary, it promotes universal access to energy that is necessary, but This universal access may eventually increase global energy demand and also CO2 emissions. Therefore, it would be important to firmly address the aspect of demand”, warns the researcher.
“The energy transition and renewable energies are an essential part of the solutions, but more significant changes are needed, since these will not be possible without a socioeconomic transition,” concludes Oriol Travesset, researcher at Andorra Research + Innovation, who also proposes alternatives such as increasing the rates of reuse of raw materials or basing the economy on activities that are less intensive in the use of energy and materials.