Climate game is on – are you in or out?

”I used to say we must, we can, we will, today we can say we did!”

Christina Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

The atmosphere could not have been more liberated. I was watching the Finnish Environmental Ministry’s live broadcast at Periscope. The hundreds or thousands of people present at the Paris climate conference were clapping and cheering from the bottom of their hearts. Without doubt the outcome – a new set of goals for the next decades – would be something extraordinary.

Media exploded – but what actually happened?!

The Finland’s minister of Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen (Centre Party) was clapping vigorously in a never-ending smile. I watched the event from my smartphone and tried to seize this moment. I was at my home on the couch. News at TV, Twitter on laptop and live feed on my smartphone all open simultaneously. Missed the show? Here’s a small taste from the historical moment.

The small screen brought me closest to the feeling at the venue. It was almost as if I was there. Would it have felt the same to be able to see live video from the Berlin wall in 1989?

“Climate change won’t stop overnight, and my country is not out of the firing line just yet, but today we all feel a little safer.”

Tony de Brum, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands

The countries of the world came together to decide about the fate of mankind and our planet. What was agreed on?  The ambitions of yesterday were far off from being enough to limit the most severe consequences of climate change. The Paris agreement puts the world back on track towards the target of keeping the rise in world average temperature below 2°C.

The Paris agreement states, most importantly that the World will:

  • Hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and
  • pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels…

Source and more details: United Nations.

Bio economy has its chance

But what does this all mean for the Cleantech companies in the Nordic? It seems like a lot of good news. In order to limit climate change we have to get rid of carbon intense energy system globally and aim towards a new world with more energy efficiency and less fossil fuel consumption.

Member of the Finnish Parliament Kai Mykkänen (National Coalition Party) recently commented on the possibilities that are brought by the tightening climate battle:

“Gasoline cars will become more expensive [to use], but when you invest in electric or biogas cars, you get rid of the [added] cost altogether. The investments of course are costly, but when we increase the taxation of fossil fuels we can use more money on incentives.”

World’s largest economies are showing their cards

The political debate on national and international arenas is only getting fired up. Other lobby for incentives and some would rather see only strong Emission Trading System mechanism in place.

In the end the political mechanisms and short-term decisions are irrelevant.

The World has taken its direction. Even China and the United States are in. The winners of this global climate opportunity for sustainable solutions will be decided in the coming years.

Are you in or out?