Is global climate action reaching a tipping point?

Can connected lighting be the key to combatting climate change?

By Jonathan Weinert

Jonathan Weinert is IoT Thought leadership for Signify

23 Sep 2021

Following US President Joe Biden’s climate action announcements on Earth Day, 22 April 2021, which represented the single largest ever commitment to emisssions reductions. Niklas Höhne, of NewClimate Institute, believes we are now reaching a global tipping point.

"With other big emitters like Japan, the EU and the UK also stepping up, we are now starting to see the kind of near-term climate action the world needs to win the race to net zero by 2050, and keep warming to 1.5°C,” said Höhne. 

However, he warns that “the gap is still huge,” so there is still a lot of work to be done.

Smart connected systems are uniquely positioned to help businesses and cities participate in climate action initiatives around the world. And they’re essential to achieving those goals.

“We are now starting to see the kind of near-term climate action the world needs to win the race to net zero by 2050”

One simple and often overlooked way to get into the sustainability game is connected LED lighting. Are you aware, for example, that lighting consumes around half of a city’s total electricity use?

By reducing the energy needed for lighting, connected LED lighting systems can save up to 80% over conventional lighting systems.

In other words, energy-efficient lighting retrofits alone can reduce a city’s total energy budget by around 40%.

Now that incentive funds and subsidies for green renovations are being made available in the USA, the EU, and elsewhere. The world can’t afford not to retrofit lighting in built up areas, we have the technology. The only question is whether or not we have the will.

Energy efficient technology that boosts a digital era

 But let’s look beyond lighting for a moment—or to be more precise, let’s look at how connected lighting contributes to climate action beyond illumination. Because lighting is already everywhere that people are, connected lighting systems can serve as the perfect platform for distributing Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities that promise to make businesses and cities smarter and more sustainable.

Such IoT capabilities include smart solutions that can make renovated buildings not only greener but also healthier and more user-friendly.

They could also include smart city technologies – such as built-in charging points - to support the widespread use of electric vehicles (EVs) alongside the next generation of carbon-zero public transport.

The global response to climate change will undoubtedly unfold in increments, and there will almost certainly be setbacks and unforeseeable challenges, as there are with any major push for innovation.

But the global indications are, that things are about to change.

For more details, read this article on green deals around the world, about Interact, Signify’s connected lighting software and systems for the IoT. 

Find out more on Signify Green Switch here:

This article reflects the views of the author and not the views of The Parliament Magazine or of the Dods Group

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