Rebound of GHGs

Our media has already reported that 2020 was the year to raise our awareness on climate change. There are many reasons why we think so. For example, many countries including Japan and China declared that they would try to achieve carbon neutrality within few decades. In this sense, how to realize it is one of the biggest and most important issues in each country. As a result, we can expect more investments from each government to realize more innovations to change the situation drastically.

It seems that we experienced some improvements in the beginning of 2020, but it did not last longer. According to International Energy Agency (IEA)’s report, it verified this fact. Global greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions rebounded strongly and rose above 2019 levels in December. Based on latest data, global emissions were 2%, or 60 million tons, higher in December 2020 than 2019. This is because major economies led the resurgence as a pick-up in economic activity pushed energy demand higher. In addition, there were less significant policies measures to boost clean energy.

Cleaner air in Spain

It is true that we could see cleaner air from April to June 2020. For instance, our interviewee living in Barcelona mentioned that he thought the air looked cleaner, so he could see longer distance. Therefore, we can say that atmosphere in the world was cleaner and greener at first. However, like IEA’s report, once most countries tried to restore its economy, the emissions were increasing again.

As a result, climate activists including younger generations advocated that each government did not take any proper actions yet. In addition to this, people in some countries are experiencing energy crisis since the summer of 2021. For example, Spain is one of the advanced countries to make use of renewable energy. In fact, renewable energy accounted for more than 40% of all electricity in Spain in 2020. However, the energy from wind turbines was decreasing by 20% in September 2021.

As a result, the price of electricity was soaring up. The Spanish government finally made a decision to reduce electricity’s value added tax (IVA) from 21% to 10%. Therefore, we understand that renewable energy is not a perfect solution to tackle climate change. There are many rooms for the improvement to make it more sustainable and affordable.

SMEs are also important

However, we have to take actions immediately to solve one of the biggest problems around us, climate change. When it comes to energy sources in Spain, the country is reducing its reliability on coal and petroleum. In fact, Spain reduces coal’s ratio in all electricity up to 5% in 2019. Thus, we can safely say that Spain is a good example to change its energy sources from fossil fuel energy to renewable.

We have to think how to make renewable energy more sustainable and reliable. In this sense, we need more innovations such as power storage equipment and power transmission equipment. When we want to realize innovation, there are many failures. Thus, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are sometimes reluctant to make a big decision to invest in the new fields.

However, we must try to tackle climate change more. Thus, SMEs also should take it into consideration and make bold decisions. As a result, we believe our society will be better and greener.