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ENERGY TRANSITION AND CLIMATE CHANGE

At the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. Although the agreement is due to enter force in 2020, 2016 was the year to set the momentum and action plans for the implementation.  In 2017, countries will formally enshrine their climate action plans in the coming months once they formally join the agreement.

More than 185 countries responsible for over 95 percent of the world's climate pollution announced specific national emissions reduction plans for climate action after 2020.  When countries formally join this agreement, they would include emission reduction commitments in the Paris Agreement. 

Countries will not wait until 2020 to begin to deviate from their current trajectories to meet their goals for 2025 and 2030, just as the private sector will not wait until 2020 to invest in the development and installation of low carbon technologies upon which the national pledges are based. The agreement marks the first time that countries formally propose national pledges that cover a timeframe beyond 2020, but the implications of these targets for policy making and investments are immediate.

Energy transition defines how countries individually and in collaboration put technology and innovative practices into place to reduce the impact of energy production on the planet despite an increase in population. The new energy mix for countries should take into consideration challenges to the environment and prioritise renewable energy. Countries should increasingly adopt sustainable energy models that address the issues including global warming, harm to the biosphere, the scarcity of fossil fuels and the inequality of alternative energy sourcing. As there is no single mix that would be ideal worldwide, each country is required to work out their own specific energy transition. The energy process is a slow prow process and requires a radical change in energy use by consumers and significant technological breakthrough.

All these factors emphasise that energy transition requires a serious political will and resource commitment by every country which is a serious challenge from this year and on. Add to this the challenge that, energy demand will rise by a third to 2035.