In December 2015 195 countries agreed to take action to limit global average temperature rise to a maximum of 2degC and to try and achieve a target of 1.5degC. The Paris Agreement was ratified by enough countries to bring it into force in November 2016. This Agreement will have a profound effect on all of us, how we use energy and on the nature of the energy sector.
The Agreement creates a clear catalyst to accelerate the transition to a low carbon energy future, which is already well underway. Low carbon energy, from renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage (CCS) will be increasingly important when compared to traditional fossil fuels of coal oil and gas.
Investments in fossil fuel projects will be more challenging. Emissions limits will become more of a constraint. Industrial emissions will need to be cleaned up with CCS. Heating will need to transition from gas to low carbon energy sources. Transport will move to electric and hydrogen vehicles.
None of this will happen overnight, but in key areas the transition may be fast; possibly much faster than many expect.
The Paris Agreement affects all businesses and public bodies. To maximise opportunity and minimise risk; action needs to be taken now.