What is the Clean Energy Ministerial?
The Seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) was held in San Francisco, California on June 1-2nd, 2016 and presents a great opportunity for LEED professionals. CEM7 congregates various energy ministers with the aim to further advance, challenge and highlight the adoption of clean energy production. After the Paris Agreement COP21, involving the pledges of hundreds of countries to limit global warming to well below 2°C, LEED practices swell in importance.
CEM7 boasts the attendance and commitment from several government officials including; Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. Combined, these countries account for 90% of renewable investment and 75% of greenhouse gas emissions. Cutting these emissions centers on the best LEED practices. The countries present play a pivotal role in the adoption of renewable energy.
Also in attendance were several business executives, ranging from various sectors including; technology, transportation, energy, and HVAC.
Why is CEM7 Important for LEED Professionals?
Each country organization and company announced their commitment towards the development of sustainable energy. There is large support and the building of support is important to show the Paris Agreement is not just a “feel good” declaration. CEM7 shows and publicly expresses the commitment of all the attending parties. With Chinese, Indian, and American energy ministers in attendance, the majority of greenhouse gas polluters were in attendance and vowed to reduce their emissions.
Not only were government officials there. Corporate executives also joined the commitment towards the building of new and energy efficient practices and technologies.
The summit spent a large amount of time discussing the improvements in air conditioning and HVAC systems. There is great desire and opportunity for growth in developing countries, specifically India, for energy efficient air conditioning. India expects 12.9% growth in air conditioning. Market penetration of air conditioning currently resides within 3% of total structures. The government of India publicly expressed a commitment towards investing in the adoption and facilitation of energy efficient, cheap, and non-toxic air conditioning.
Ingersoll Rand announced plans to invest $500 million into the greening of their HVAC products. The company also committed to reducing greenhouse gas 50% by 2020. The company is actively pursuing the development of environmentally friendly refrigerants.
In many countries, lighting produces a large draw on the energy grid. Energy estimates, according to the energy panel, peg the lighting accounting for 40-60% of total energy produced. India also innovates on government sponsoring of LED lighting. The Indian government chose to subsidize LED bulbs to drive down the costs, while simultaneously releasing information to increase adoption rates. The program expects to ship 1.15 million lightbulbs. Those LED bulbs would reduce 30,000 tons of daily CO2 emissions.
Phillips lighting attended the panel to publicly express their commitment towards sustainability adoptions. Among the commitments Phillips expects to reduce manufacturing footprint, run on 100% renewable energy by 2020. To drive all these investments Phillips expects to ship 2 billion LED lightbulbs globally
How will CEM7 impact the Built Environment?
The greatest impact from the CEM7 centers on the collective global will to enact and promote adoption of legislation to reduce the effects of global warming. Unless there is a dramatic shift in global politics, the push towards renewable energy coupled with highly efficient products will continue to swell.
The energy grid will continue to green when governments and companies follow through on the propositions suggested during CEM7. LEED professionals with the knowledge of implementing alternative methods to achieving energy efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions become increasingly marketable.
Current LEED credits and principles present an attractive opportunity to provide heating and cooling in increasingly efficient and environmentally friendly methods. With many governments and companies seeking to adopt renewable energy and energy efficiency, the need of LEED accredited individuals will rise. Companies and governments would benefit greatly from the incorporation of LEED credits, specifically in heating, cooling, lighting, and installation of renewable energy. As more companies and governments express devotion to incorporating sustainable design, LEED becomes increasingly important.
World governments begin to accept and adopt sustainable concepts. This is a hot bed of opportunity and innovation. As long as the governments and companies are willing to invest in emission curbing practices, the LEED professional can offer an impressive amount of knowledge and guidance towards the adoption of LEED practices. While governments and companies may not desire to achieve LEED, incorporating the practices of LEED credits are essential towards the publicly proclaimed goals.