Put energy efficiency first so we leave no one behind

As the world seeks to deliver on both SDG7 and the Paris Agreement, energy efficiency has a key role to play.

Authored by Kim Fausing, CEO, Danfoss

This is article is adapted from a joint op-ed with Rachel Kyte, former CEO of Sustainable Energy for All and special representative of the UN Secretary-General, originally published on EurActiv.

We are running out of time to tackle the global climate emergency. Managing the growth of the global economy, providing hope and nourishment to all people, and deeply decarbonizing by 2050 requires urgent and ambitious climate leadership. For this reason, COP25 is of vital importance to raise the ambition loop. Our message to governments is simple: put energy efficiency first.

To support our climate targets and provide people with reliable and affordable energy, we must transform our energy systems. And at the core of this transformation is the integration of different sectors into one sustainable and efficient energy system. Well-proven solutions already exist to realize both the Paris Agreement and the global goal on sustainable energy, SDG7. However, their adoption must be translated into an actionable timeline.

Despite being far too often ignored in governments' energy planning, energy efficiency can deliver 40% of the CO2 abatement necessary to achieve the Paris targets. By putting energy efficiency on equal footing with other energy goals, such as renewable energy, we can cut emissions even more quickly and deeply.

It is time for policy makers and world leaders to embrace that energy efficiency is the missing link to accelerate decarbonization, so we can live up to our promise of leaving no one behind. At COP25, we look forward to a matchmaking of existing technology and solutions with country bold, ambitious commitments.

Julia Panzer, Head of Group Public Affairs and Sustainability at Danfoss, will join leaders from across sectors to speak at this year's World Climate Summit - The Investment COP in Madrid on December 8th, 2019.

One day before, SEforALL, Alliance To Save Energy, and Danfoss will also be hosting a side-event at COP25, from 2-3 PM at the Nordic Pavilion. Join them on December 7th to discuss existing solutions to accelerate the energy transition and the ambitious commitments needed for these solutions to deliver. Further information is available here.