Time to Take Action Against Global WarmingBy Antonio Gozain | Thu, 03/10/2022 - 18:34
Climate change is already a reality and all industries must take immediate action to mitigate the negative effects of global warming, said Leonardo Beltrán, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. The sector must work to diversify its energy mix before it is too late, he emphasized.
Global industry has had a big impact in the planet’s temperature disparity. “From the 1860s to 2022, we have had a temperature increase of 1C. Human activities make up almost 100 percent of this increase,” said Beltrán. If the world wants to stop the negative effects of global warming, it is already time to take drastic action.
The impact of human activities on climate has been documented and led organizations such as the UN to join forces with several countries to fight climate change. The UN has launched a series of meetings with world leaders since 1972, aiming to build a mitigation plan to address challenges ahead. In 1988, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was created and in 1994, the UN began hosting the first high-level meetings, called Climate Conferences, or COPs.
The effects of climate change impact different regions in the world differently, explained Beltrán. In Mexico, the effects of global warming are already noticeable. They will keep getting worse if no action is taken. “Mexico is one of the big losers if we do not increase our global warming action plans. We must work at both the national and international level,” he said.
During COP meetings, Mexico has joined the initiative of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which form the heart of the COPs. The country has set its own goals, which are included in the Energy Transition Law. Mexico’s commitment is focused on increasing power generation through clean energy sources and by reducing CO2 emissions. It committed to generate at least 35 percent of its electricity through clean sources by 2024 and 45 percent by 2030. To achieve this, the country has abundant renewable resources at its disposal, including solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower. As time goes by, the possibility to shape the ideal energy mix decreases, said Beltrán: “If we use a diverse energy mix today, it will be easier to reach our goals than if we wait for tomorrow.” All sectors, including energy, industrial manufacturing, transportation and mobility, must take immediate action, he added.
In terms of electricity generation, Latin America and the Caribbean are one of the most sustainable regions, said Beltrán: “Six out of every 10MW generated in the region come from sustainable sources.” Although the path toward net zero is still long and full of challenges, the region has already made progress by taking advantage of its natural resources.