2040 - Climate future & visualisation of my journey with it!
It's 2040. I am living just outside the city limits in a nice spacious landed property with my young 66-year-old wife. My daughter, her husband with their children is settled in Dubai running their sustainable fashion label. I look around my home & realise how things have changed over last 20 years since the pandemic.
Back in 2022, I was listening to Climate Science 101 with Dr. Chip Fletcher, Zebras Cohort @Terrado Climate School. That was brutal! The low down he gave on growing emissions, habitat loss owing to beef agriculture, grains losing protein %ages, unreported emissions, frequent natural disasters, rising see levels causing displacement of populations, no evidence of building the RE infra or reforestation happening at scale needed etc…Seemed like someone was painting a doomsday picture.
But then towards the end, last 10 minutes before closing, he said, there were positive signs world over esp. in last 10 years:
- $1.1T spent on clean energy same spend on producing oil & gas
- Global carbon emission has slowed
- Projections of future warming is 25-35% lower than 5 years ago
- RE is getting cheaper, Solar & Wind by 85% and 55% resp. over last 10 years
However, he said, we need to get more ambitious with our targets and put in efforts that stretches us to deliver lot more in next 10 years by 2030.
Personally, I am optimistic about climate future. Optimism gives us hope that ‘Yes we will solve this problem’. Because to solve a problem we need to take actions & we know, in a cause-and-effect relationship, an action or event produces an outcome or result. Like me and billions other rallied around this optimism, hope and acted in whatever capacity one could over last 20 years & continuing.
Indeed by 2040, we made good progress. Citing a few important examples:
Renewable Energy & Energy efficiency
Together they can provide over 90% of the energy-related CO2 emission reductions that are required, using technologies that are safe, reliable, affordable and widely available.
Based on the progress we are making, world over, we are on track towards renewables making up 60% or more of many countries’ total final energy consumption (TFEC) by 2050. This was projected as one of the key requirements of NetZero agenda & stated in REmap, a global roadmap prepared by IRENA 2018.
Along with renewable energy, energy efficiency is a key driver of reduced energy-related CO2 emissions in the energy transition. Globally, on track towards energy intensity declining to between 20-40% of the 100% levels in 2015.
In my driveway there is BMW 5 Series 1995 model. But its vintage, can’t take it on roads because ICE is banned since 2035.
It was my first car, so kept it for nostalgic reasons.
I now use EV - BMW i Vision Circular. It is packed with innovative ideas for combining sustainability with a new, inspirational aesthetic – approach called ‘circular design’, explained BMW Group. Circular design embraces the four principles of RE:THINK, RE:DUCE, RE:USE and RE:CYCLE.
Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) gave way to Electric Vehicles (EVs), hydrogen fuel cells powered trucks, and other sustainable transport options such as electric buses, mass rail transit, electric scooters, PMVs, and walkable and bike-friendly paths and even autonomous-drive-as-a-service subscription model a.k.a. Netflix came into existence.
Globally, the progress defers country by country but overall, it’s on track towards achieving 60-70% RE use in transport sector by 2050 & 40-45% electrification of transport. It is way ahead of the expectations as stated in REmap by IRENA 2018.
The circular economy is where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible by returning them into the product cycle at the end of their use, thus minimising the generation of waste.
Less than 10% of the global economy was circular in 2020. So how far did we come in 2040? Allow me use this personal experience to explain progress.
Guess what gift I got on 22nd February 2040, my 77th birth date? iPhone 100C!
Model 100C equates to produce from 100% recycled & renewable materials incl. achievement of NetZero carbon emissions across its supply chain & product life cycle! Back in 2020, they intend to achieve 100% circularity and carbon neutral by 2040! Mind you 70% of their scope 3 emissions came from their outsourced supply chain, so it’s a big testament to the fact that collaboration & working together for common good were key to achieving the targets.
Many brands in CE as well as other industry verticals have made significant progress in achieving their stated circularity and carbon neutrality goals. Businesses have realised, circular economy model, while helping profit optimisation, it actually encourages growth.
Now a bit about my personal role, journey since 2022, in Climate change.
Back in 2022, I had just come out of a venture in energy domain. While my journey in that venture was short-lived, just about 12 months, what it did was got me (accidentally) involved in the climate change domain.
I realised that acquiring skills, knowledge is one important aspect of the new domain however the other most important was network/ community. I came across Terra.do again stumbling across it on LinkedIn, long story short, I signed up for the Climate Change - LFA 12 weeks cohort. I picked up new skills and knowledge interacting, learning, networking with fellow Zebras, fellows from other cohorts, & instructors Kamal Kapadia, Greg Findley, Hannah Welsh, Dr. Zoya Atif as well as from talks by distinguished guest speakers Dr. Chip Fletcher, Dr. Saleemhul Haq, Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, and many others!
During this journey, I also realised that ‘it’s not over until it’s over’. Optimism, Hope, Action is important.
Over next few years, I embarked on multiple entrepreneur journey. Highlighting 2 of the many I got involved in over last 20 years.
Solution: Renewable Energy - Micro-grid for the super-rich
My EV is getting charged from the power generated by roof top solar + battery & which also powers my entire property.
I came across interview of Damon Gamean, Filmmaker, Ted X speaker by BBC Click. He was making a documentary on solutions for climate change. He talked about a German research company providing electricity to people below poverty lines in Bangladesh using rooftop solar & micro-grid solution. CSR from large corporates funded who in-turn got carbon offsets for their own excess emissions.
In country I reside, all lower or middle income (and some rich by own choice, preference) live in public housing apartments. Rest most rich live in landed properties or condominiums.
Energy consumption is 1:3 times for public housing Vs landed property owners. We deployed the RT solar + Micro-Grid + Banking solution for the 8000+ private landed property homeowners. The energy saved + excess energy generated by micro-grids now serves 4x public housing! Being land scarce country, it has helped a lot adopting the micro-grid solution in accelerating transition to RE 100% by 2050.
Solution: Circular Economy - High-end Mobile Phones on Subscription model
"Electronics contain a lot of harmful substances like dioxins, mercury, lead ... that (cause) serious health problems. If electronics are not properly disposed of, they will be disposed into the landfill, and they will gradually release toxic substances into the air, soil, and groundwater”. I heard this when I attended a course & advanced certification as Circular Economy Specialist from circulareconomyalliance.com.
While sailing and having a glass of beer with a British mate of mine, we discussed potential business idea to get into mobile-as-a-service coupled with circular economy model. My mate incidentally is an electronics engineer, masters in electronic waste management and had earlier worked for an e-waste recycling company!
We knew our model will provide consumer access to the latest technology, innovations, unabated upgrades, zero downtime and without high upfront costs! We maintain the phones such that other users can continue using until we decide eventually to recycle. For recycling, tied-up with partners who collect, dismantle, recover materials that can be reused and lastly discard those that cannot be further recycled (e-waste).
Eventually, we expanded GTM footprint to 5 other countries.
I love solving problems. So leveraging my 4 decades of ‘been there done that’ transformation experiences coupled with climate change skills & knowledge & innovations in climate-tech, green-tech, and Project Drawdown' Climate Solutions at Work, I assisted many companies in their decarbonisation journey. Most had good intent while making lofty netzero announcements but had very little clue how to go about realising it. That’s where I came in to create their decarbonisation strategy and helped execute as an advisor/ trusted partner.
Our portfolio of solution partners includes Sustainability Simulation Software providers, RE IPPs, Green Hydrogen/Ammonia developers, Process Optimisation (Hard to abate emission industries) consultants & technologies, CCUS, DAC-S, Carbon Exchanges such as ACX, Climate Impact X, Xpansiv CBL etc., development partners Enking, South Pole and enterprise level climate-tech such as Unravel Carbon, Greenly, Ecovadis, Anthesis, G17Eco, Persefoni, CDP, Sylvera, BeZERO, Terrascope, Pachama and many more.
It's 2040, at 77, I am in happy place. Last 20 years were most fulfilling contributing to the larger purpose – reversing the destruction of one & only home, protecting our own existence.
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Picture/ Image Credits:
Micro-GRID Image https://tinyurl.com/mvb3c9wv