With rising global warming, there is a need to highly decarbonise our society and the industries. I recently attended a talk on the topic of decarbonisation and it was fascinating to see the sectors who play a role in bringing this change forward.
With accurate policies and subsidies, innovative clean technologies and ideas can progress and grow in our capitalist society. The governmental policies are also important in terms of penalising industries that are not-so-clean. Carbon tax, for example plays a crucial role in driving industries to adopt cleaner technology and environmental laws ensure the byproducts of industries do not harm the environment. In terms of lifestyle habits, by subsidising organic, local and vegetarian foods, governments can push for reducing meat consumption, in turn reducing the carbon footprint of all its residents. Its role also extends in terms of tourism and travelling. Tourism is an important economic industry for several countries, but by expanding the road and rail network, making it easy to access, without requiring to fly to the location.
There is definitely the role of citizens in terms of pushing for these policies and changes, but the government from the top can enable changes towards decarbonising the society.
Popularly known to have “deep pockets”, corporates can invest in upcoming technologies and ideas to develop clean technology at a faster pace. Corporates should also make it a point to be as clean and green as possible, without being forced by any law. Corporate social responsibility is a concept that should be adopted in every department, and not be present as a separate department. Several corporations have taken the pledge to be 100% renewable energy powered by 2030, which is incredible in itself. It can further push other corporations to implement similar goals for a faster transition towards clean electricity. Corporates can play a major role in supporting non profit organisations, pursuing the betterment of society & environment, one project at a time.
In the grand scheme of sustainable transition, the government and corporate fall under the “macro implications” category, while the start-ups and R&D departments fall under the “micro implications” category . Startups have an advantage as compared to corporates which is the willingness to experiment and take risks. By pushing products and services to the market that are more innovative and sustainable, startups can take market leadership for the said category of products, in turn altering consumer habits & pushing corporates to adopt similar sustainable products. It is not as easy as described, but the general loop works or ideally should work this way.
As graduating students of InnoEnergy and with a shared passion of transitioning to a sustainable world, it is our choice to determine which sector we want to be a part of, to enable this transition. As individuals we are responsible for pushing for change, hence it doesn’t matter which sector we choose. What matters is pushing from where we are. If everyone can make a small change, collectively we can enable a great change.
 J. Hörisch, “The Role of Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Sustainability Transitions: A Conceptual Synthesis against the Background of the Multi-Level Perspective,” Administrative Sciences, vol. 5, pp. 286-300, 2015.