Marcel Kooter: The Energy Transition

Marcel Kooter is an experienced senior business leader who specializes in commercial strategies for the oil industry. Recognizing the need to make better use of finite resources, he has a passion for sustainable solutions. Marcel Kooter is a vociferous advocate for the transition away from fossil fuels to greener energy sources. This article will take a closer look at the energy transition and how the international community is coming under increased pressure to turn commitments into action, moving towards sustainable energy in the fight against climate change.

Scientists have proved beyond doubt that climate change is real and the planet is heating up. According to data published by NASA, the Earth’s average temperature was 1.02°C warmer in 2020 than the baseline 1950 to 1980 mean temperature. In addition to melting polar ice caps and causing sea levels to rise, global warming is also triggering extreme weather events, leading to desertification and an increase in floods, fires, and hurricanes, causing incalculable damage in countries all over the world.

Consensus of the scientific community is that this is being caused by greenhouse gasses accumulating in the Earth’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the biggest threat, originating largely from the energy sector, particularly the generation of electricity.

In December 2015, world leaders convened at COP21 in Paris, entering into an international agreement that set out the ambitious target of limiting global warming by the end of the 21st century, keeping the average increase below 2°C compared with preindustrial levels and ideally limiting it to 1.5°C. In November 2021, COP26 was staged in Glasgow, confirming the commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Reaching this goal largely hinges upon energy transition, marking a shift from a fossil fuel-based energy mix to sustainable sources of electricity that produce zero, or very limited, carbon emissions. Replacing fossil fuel-generated energy with electricity generated from renewable sources would have a knock-on impact on other sectors, particularly transport, making them cleaner and greener.

In November 2022, the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) published a report assessing international progress towards limiting global warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century and outlining areas that should be prioritized for accelerated action. Despite positive progress, the report suggested that the world was not yet on course to meet the target, predicting that for the international community to have a 50% chance of achieving this objective, COP27 must serve as a catalyst to turn commitments into specific actions – paving the way for more forceful measures to end deforestation and phase out coal.

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