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Sustainable Energy: it needs to be on top of your agenda

By Peter Bakker
President & CEO, WBCSD

WorldBusCouncilforSD.ClimateChange.PortraitThe Turkish Presidency of G20 has put energy sustainability at the centre of its agenda for global action.
And rightly so. In the emerging low-carbon world, sustainable energy is a prerequisite for economic
growth and prosperity for all.

In an increasingly carbon-restrained world shaped by the realities of climate change, sustainable sourcingand use of energy is high on the agenda of forward-looking business. More and more companies are takingambitious measures to improve energy efficiency in their operations. They are implementing dedicatedenergy management systems that measure energy consumption and assess reduction potential withindifferent business units. Energy efficiency measures deliver integrated benefits for both business and theenvironment. They lower an organisation’s energy use and in turn its production costs, while reducinggreenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contributing to climate mitigation.

Beyond improving energy efficiency in their operations, innovative businesses are increasingly defining
low-carbon energy sourcing strategies. This can be done either in cooperation with suppliers who offer
energy from renewable sources or by building their own generation facilities. Small to medium-scale
renewables schemes are viable options to source low-carbon electricity in times of abundant generation,meaning an organization only needs to draw electricity from the public grid when it’s necessary.Alternative ways of optimising energy use, such as heat and power storage solutions, can also be part ofa low-carbon energy sourcing strategy.

Today, most of the available options to generate low-carbon energy are the result of ground-breaking
technology developments in the private sector and research institutes. But to stay below 2°C of global
warming, we need to urgently scale up the development and diffusion of low-carbon technologies.
Incremental change is no longer enough. We need to massively transform our energy systems and
economies worldwide.

At the WBSCD, together with our partners the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Sustainable
Development Solutions Network (SDSN), we have launched the Low Carbon Technology Partnerships
initiative (LCTPi). Endorsed by the French Presidency of COP21, LCTPi aims to catalyse collaborative actionto accelerate the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies and business solutionsconsistent with the objective of limiting global warming to below 2°C. The project focuses on nine areas:renewables, carbon capture and storage, energy efficiency in buildings, climate smart agriculture, cement,low carbon transport fuels, forests, chemicals and low carbon freight.

At COP21, LCTPi will present concrete action plans accompanied by specific policy asks to ensure
implementation goes beyond Paris to achieve a zero emissions society before the end of the century. Wehave identified opportunities with the greatest global impact and that make the best business sense.

Currently, 140 companies and 50 partners are working together to analyse barriers, identify public-privatepartnership opportunities and scale up low-carbon solutions. LCTPi supports the G20 focus on thedeployment of public-private resources to boost sustainable development and inclusive growth. Energy isan important part of the development equation, so enhancing the role and contributions of the privatesector in sustainable energy management will be critical to success.

Despite the growing momentum for energy efficiency and ambitious climate action, a lot remains to be
done. Energy-intensive sectors such as cement and aluminium will require energy management and
emissions reduction solutions that go beyond the technology that is available today. Investment
requirements for new technologies often exceed individual company budgets and there is a long time lagbefore such technologies can be commercialized. Public-private partnerships like the ones emerging fromthe LCTPi will be instrumental in accelerating the deployment of low-carbon technologies and scaling upmitigation.

Responsible and sustainable energy management systems are an imperative for any business striving for
efficiency in the emerging low-carbon economy. Companies that invest in developing and implementing
these systems today will have a competitive advantage and be in pole position for success.

As a global business association representing forward-thinking companies that are leading the transition
to a sustainable world, the WBCSD supports the G20 focus on sustainable energy as a key enabler of
development. Only collective action by all stakeholders including governments and businesses can make
this vision a reality.

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