Climate change solutions
The challenge of decarbonizing the economy
Read time: 9 min
Fighting climate change is one of the great challenges facing our society. Measures designed to decarbonize the economy are key factors in confronting this global challenge. However, as the International Energy Agency (IEA) notes in its “CCUS in Clean Energy Transitions” report, if we want to achieve the energy and climate goals of the Paris Agreement by 2050, efforts must not only be aimed at towards reducing CO2, but also to removing it.
Measures and solutions to fight climate change
The effects of climate change are a reality that affects our environment, and urgent action must be taken to reduce its effects as quickly as possible.
In 2015, 196 countries reached a historic agreement to solve climate change: The Paris Agreement. It's objective is to limit global warming in this century to below 2°C, preferably to 1.5º, compared to preindustrial levels.
The application of this agreement requires countries, regions, cities, and companies to commit to an effective energy transition without compromising their competitiveness. These are some of the measures and solutions for progressing along this path:
International agreements: Climate change summits
There is an international consensus on the need to seek solutions for climate change. In terms of international commitment and coordination, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was the most important action to date in the fight against global warming and its effects. Below is a short summary of the history of the most important international agreements on fighting climate change.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), adopted in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Río de Janeiro.
It came into force in 1994 and was ratified by 195 countries (Parties to the Convention). The Convention recognizes the existence of the problem of climate change and sets its ultimate goal as achieving the stabilization of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In addition, it gives a time frame for reaching this level so that ecosystems can adapt naturally to climate change.
In order for the application of the Convention to be effective, decisions are being made that all the parties must ratify by consensus. These decisions are discussed and approved at the Conferences of the Parties (COP).
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol was the agreement in which the industrialized countries committed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Due to a complex ratification process, it came into force on February 16, 2005. The Pact, currently signed by 192 Parties, only asks these countries to adopt mitigation policies and measures and to produce regular reports. In addition, it introduces an important element, the establishment of flexible market mechanisms based on emissions trading. In other words, in addition to national measures to reduce emissions, the Protocol offers an additional way to meet the objectives using three market mechanisms. One is emissions trading; then the Clean Development Mechanism; and, lastly, Joint Application.
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change is an international treaty on climate change that is legally binding.
It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP21 in the French capital on December 12, 2015, and came into force on November 4, 2016. Its goal is to limit global warming to below 2 degrees centigrade, preferably 1.5, compared to preindustrial levels.
The European Union (EU) and its member states have signed and ratified the Paris Agreement and are firmly committed to its application. In accordance with this agreement, the EU countries have agreed to place the European Union on the path to becoming the first climate-neutral economy and society before 2050.
Repsol and climate change
In 2019, Repsol was the first company in its sector to set itself the objective of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, therefore aligning its 2021-2025 Strategic Plan with the climate change goals set out by the Paris Agreement.
As a result of this proposal, our Company has laid out a demanding roadmap, which includes ambitious emissions reduction targets..