Massive savings in carbon emissions are possible worldwide if governments adopt the highest energy efficiency standards for lighting and other household appliances such as fridges, freezers and washing machines, researchers say. Not only would this go a long way to meeting the Paris Agreement goal of keeping average temperature rise as close as possible to a 1.5°C maximum. It would cost consumers no more than they pay already, and would save on their utility bills. The research team is from the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), an independent scientific analysis produced by three research organisations who since 2009 have tracked climate action towards the Paris Agreement’s aim of holding warming well below 2°C, and ideally to 1.5°C. Many countries have already adopted higher energy efficiency standards, including the entire European Union (EU). But if the best standards were applied globally, more than 1,100 average-sized coal-powered generating plants, each producing about 600 MW, could be closed. If low carbon electricity production were used to generate the remaining electricity needed, and fossil fuel plants were closed, then a reduction of 60% of all emissions from buildings would be possible by 2030, CAT says. This is 5.2 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide, more than the EU’s entire current emissions. The United Kingdom, where housing is among the least energy-efficient in Europe, had predicted that the British demand for electricity would rise continuously until 2030, but in fact it has gone down year on year since 2008. This is attributable partly to the increasing energy efficiency of lighting and household appliances forced on manufacturers by EU directives.
Climate News Network 13th April 2018 read more »