Earth Day, celebrated annually on April 22, has made a significant impact on the world since its inception in 1970. Earth Day was created to raise awareness about environmental protection, and over the past five decades, it has grown into a global movement that has made considerable progress in the fight against climate change.
Today, climate change and the clean energy transition remain at the forefront of Earth Day initiatives, mobilizing millions of people, organizations, and governments around the globe. However, in addition to encouraging individuals, businesses, and governments to deploy clean energy technologies and promote sustainable practices, there is an increased focus on the urgency of such actions. This focus is reflected in Earth Day 2023’s theme, “invest in our planet,” with the need to “act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably).”
In this blog post, we explore Earth Day’s influence on global climate change mitigation, the dominant energy and sustainability trends today, and the type of action organizations require to accelerate their decarbonization roadmaps.
The Clean Energy Landscape Has Evolved
Over the past several years, North American energy markets have shifted in response to significant global pressures. Climate change impacts, energy market volatility, and stakeholder pressure have prompted government and corporate actions – creating unique new opportunities and catalyzing clean energy growth across the region.
These key trends are affecting the present and future of energy. They also create challenges and opportunities for action, informing how organizations address energy costs, flexibility, resilience, and sustainability in 2023 and beyond.
Organizations Are Increasingly Reducing Carbon Emissions
Earth Day has played a vital role in raising awareness about the threat of climate change. However, despite scientists’ warnings and increased public support for global mitigation efforts, they remain insufficient. The current greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction levels are not enough to keep global warming below 1.5°C as pledged in the Paris Agreement.
As a result of ongoing threats from a rapidly changing climate, there is a growing focus on the need for energy resilience and sustainability, as well as greater expectation for climate action driven by the private sector. Although international collaboration progress has been limited, the United States government introduced legislation to breathe new life into climate action. In response to stakeholder pressure to become more sustainable while taking advantage of opportunities presented by the Inflation Reduction Act, more organizations are setting decarbonization targets, investing in renewable energy, and looking for ways to make a positive impact. Procurement of clean energy is increasing rapidly, as demonstrated in the below graphic: