The aim of COP 21, the twenty-first global conference on climate change, is to reach a legally binding and universal agreement to keep global warming below the threshold of 2°C and is intended to replace the Kyoto protocol in 2020.
COP 21 will bring together 195 states in Paris from 30th November to 11th December.
The transition towards a low-carbon economy is already under way
Within companies and organisations, numerous voluntary initiatives have made it possible to develop dynamics even before the time for regulatory constraints: measuring greenhouse gas emissions, defining reduction targets, carbon offsetting, responsible procurement policies. So, networks of players are already mobilised, active and have the necessary maturity to advance the programmes and support continuous improvement initiatives.
The activities of digital services are already mobilised and involved in optimising corporate and administrative processes to help them limit their greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in the energy and transport sectors. For several years now, digital technology has propelled us into the era of digitalisation of services. These services can now be proposed, with time, to manage the use of resources needed according to demand; they direct us towards greater austerity (the use of smart counters), and towards public services (public transport).
Because although the carbon impact of digital technology is estimated at 2%, its potential for reducing emissions in all sectors of the economy will reach 15% for CO2 emissions by 2020*.
Although the topic of the transition towards a low-carbon economy, driven by regulations such as Grenelle 2 (Energy Transition Act), is binding for companies, it also provides opportunities. Economic players are less cautious in the face of the scale of the task and become bolder, working outside their comfort zone to embrace more ambitious programs which are still meaningful for organisations.
For many years, these challenges have given us, at Sopra Steria, an opportunity to innovate, to find more collaborative business models, and ways of functioning by ecosystems which link customers, partners and civil society for example, to develop new solutions, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and use resources more efficiently. Our innovative solutions make our daily life more intelligent: smart meters, energy efficiency at home, in office buildings, cities and energy networks. They are part of a groundswell in favour of an economy of means and functionality that is resolutely low carbon. Our customers, their own customers and users of their services are therefore inevitably leading us towards a more sustainable future.
State and non-State actors, individuals, we can now achieve a great ambition and indeed greater realism, faced with the effects of climate change. What appeared to be theory and speculation several years ago has now become a harsh reality.
COP 21 or the transition towards a new growth model for the next 10-15 years
COP 21 must make it possible to achieve a legally binding agreement, with long-term objectives, a defined direction, and mechanisms for revising objectives (a report must be conducted every five years to assess the efforts of the 195 players with an obligation on their part to improve their objectives at each meeting).
The longer-term objective for the international community is to achieve a carbon-neutral economy, which absorbs as much carbon as it emits, by the end of the century.
“We have an obligation to succeed” declared Laurent Fabius, the president of COP 21.
*(Source: “Smart 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age, The Climate Group and McKinsey Company, 2008”).