IPCC’s SR15 and the importance of the meteorology-energy nexus

Tuesday 9th October 2018

Yesterday saw the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report 15 (IPCC SR15). It is a substantial document which caught the attention of the mainstream media, many of whom view it as a final call to action.

The report contains a whole chapter on the connections between actions needed to meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and pursue the pathways to keep global average temperatures capped at 1.5°C warmer than pre-industrial levels. Energy is the focus for many of these connections, with two of the three categories for classifying them being ‘energy-supply’ and ‘energy-demand’.

For us at WEMC, the report highlights the urgent importance of ensuring the nexus between meteorology and energy is fully exploited by all stakeholders. SR15 cites studies that show many connections with high confidence between SDG Goal #7 in particular (Affordable & Clean Energy) and capping greenhouse gas emissions. A few examples are:

  • the up-scaling of renewables will greatly facilitate access to clean, affordable and reliable energy. Hydropower plays an increasingly important role for the global electricity supply;
  • energy efficiency in industry leading to reduced relatively less energy demand and hence energy supply, increasing energy security and reducing imports;
  • energy efficiency improvement of buildings reduce energy consumption and
    hence lead to energy savings.

Authoritative reports such as the IPCC SR15 help to bolster WEMC’s commitment to promoting and enhancing the interaction between the energy industry and the weather, climate and broader environmental sciences community. Whether it is through project work, or organising events such as next year’s International Conference Energy & Meteorology (ICEM 2019), we are proud to be playing a part in the drive towards sustainable development.

WEMC’s Education & Program Officer, Kit Rackley, has composed a more detailed commentary on their personal blog, focusing on the links between energy, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the pathways to cap warming to 1.5°C. Disclaimer: Kit’s blog entry should be seen as expression of their personal views only. It aims to offer extra insights and opinions about SR15.

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