All eyes are on Katowice in Poland ahead of COP24, due to start on December 2. Climate change, never far away from the headlines, is expected to become one of the major focuses of the news agenda in coming days.
A number of reports were released which paint a dismal picture of the state of the world today and an apocalyptic situation less than a 100 years from now. According to the UN’s Emissions gap report 2018, we are farther than we were last year from meeting the goals of the Paris agreement on climate change, reached during COP21. More than half of the planet’s richest countries are not cutting their Co2 emissions as fast as they promised under the 2015 treaty. The goal of the Paris agreement is to keep global temperatures rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Another report published by the US government, the National Climate Assessment, traces the effects climate change has already wrought upon every US state, from increased droughts and heat-waves, to rising sea-levels and flooding. But its predictions are of utter devastation to come with annual average temperatures expected to increase by 1.3 to 3.7 degrees Celsius by late century.
While these dire predictions are making the news, behind the scenes, scientists, engineers and researchers are working hard to find solutions to help meet the COP21 targets. At the IEC, many experts are working on international standards which should help reduce carbon emissions by making electricity, that green and versatile energy, safer and easier to use for transport, for instance. A number of IEC Technical Commmittees (TCs) are working on publications which focus on making the generation and transmission of electricity more energy efficient while others publish documents which help to implement renewable energies. They include IEC TC 82: Solar photovoltaïc energy systems, IEC TC 88: Wind energy generation systems, and IEC TC 114: Marine energy- wave, tidal and other water converters.
This work also contributes towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 of affordable and clean energy. IEC work enables all forms of power generation for on- and off-grid use and provides the technical foundation for rural electrification, microgrids, LVDC applications for safer, more reliable devices, bringing sustainable electricity and lighting to cities and economies.