The most recent report of the IPCC, released in early August, was described by the UN as a ‘code red for humanity’. It states that climate change is widespread, rapid, and intensifying. The world now anticipates November’s global climate conference, COP26, to see how nations respond to this latest stark warning.
The European Green Deal focuses on the promise to make Europe a net zero emitter of greenhouse gases by 2050. It requires a major transition of the European energy system, away from fossil fuels and towards low carbon or renewable sources of energy. In this context, the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors published a scientific opinion this summer to address the challenges involved in this transition, informed by a review of the evidence by SAPEA, a consortium of European academies.
The energy transition is not just about new technologies and innovation. Our current lifestyles are also contributing to our energy and climate problems, and the move to different energy systems will impact on every one of us in society. Change has to be fair and inclusive. It requires public engagement and active participation across the whole of society.