Consumers and businesses will have to be more energy-efficient and switch to alternatives to fossil fuels
[From 4 December} The Paris climate change summit will conclude at the end of next week. It aims to reach an international agreement on limiting emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are contributing to global warming. The main source of these emissions is the burning of fossil fuels – oil, coal and natural gas – that power industry, and heat and light our homes.
One big area where technology is helping is through the development of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. The energy from these sources has increased by a factor of four in the past 10 years. Biofuel production, which is more environmentally friendly than extracting oil from the ground, has increased at a similar rate.
If we can get another four-fold increase from renewable energy sources over the next decade, a total of around a quarter of the world’s energy needs can be met from renewables, nuclear energy and hydro-electricity – without burning fossil fuels and creating greenhouse gas emissions.
Another area where technology is having a big impact is in the development of electric cars. Bigger and better batteries are being developed so that electric cars can be charged more quickly and drive further without recharging.
These developments in technology will enable society to cut its dependence on fossil fuels and reduce the damage to the world’s climate.
But there will still need to be changes to our lifestyles and the way in which businesses operate.
The first change is that we are going to have to become a lot more energy-efficient at home and at work. The less energy we use overall, the easier it will be to reduce our carbon emissions. Consumers need better-insulated homes and smart meters to monitor their energy use.
Read more: Telegraph