In a legally-binding agreement reached in last years' COP21 conference, over 195 nations pledged to reduce carbon emissions from 2020 onward. The ultimate goal of the conference was to adapt measures that would keep global temperatures from rising 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius. The passing of this agreement--the first of its kind--appears indicative of the current worldview of climate change. Most world leaders are now unified in the idea that climate change is an increasingly urgent global concern. As a result, the pressure to utilize renewable energy sources has never been higher. Such resources, including hyrdo-electric power, wind turbines, and solar cells, are growing in both popularity and efficiency. Now, the goal is to deviate totally from fossil fuels, both in daily energy use and in international business.
Several global corporations, including Apple and REI, have taken the lead in utilizing renewable energy. Initiatives started by these companies, such as the Corporate Buyers' Principles and the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, have promoted the use of renewable energy resources worldwide. It appears to be working: the annual Renewables Global Status Report declared 2014 and 2015 as record years of renewables usage. Of course, it is still a struggle for many businesses to fully incorporate renewables into their operations. Factors such as budget, location, expanse, and amount of energy consumption all have to be considered. Fortunately, small steps can be taken in transitioning to renewable energy resources. For example, purchases of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) can bring in small but vital amounts of green energy into everyday business.
A positive correlation has been shown between international market growth and the use of renewables. Wind energy, in particular, has been boosted by growth in China, the United States, and several countries in Africa. This could set the stage for a doubling of global wind energy use over the next five years. Similar promise is there for a worldwide shift from fossil fuels, although this would require a large workover in terms of tariffs and energy regulations. What could push both of these innovations along is sustained business success. If international corporations continue to use renewables and continue to profit, examples could be set for other businesses and governments to follow. Ultimately, the faster more businesses decide to adopt renewables into their operations, the faster the rest of the world will follow suit.