Climate change is doubtlessly one of the most significant problems that humanity faces in the XXI century. This phenomenon, which appeared due to intense human activity, is a complex process with a global impact.
By burning fossil fuels, clearing jungles, and engaging in agriculture, humanity is increasing its impact on the environment and the average temperature of the atmosphere. Every year, people release enormous amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, accelerating the rate of global warming.
The current average atmospheric temperature is 0.85 degrees higher than it was at the end of the XIX century. The last three years were the hottest years on record since average temperatures started to be recorded.
Scientists believe that an increase in the temperature by 2 degrees relative to the pre-industrial era would be the boundary beyond which certain very dangerous global processes would begin. Therefore, the international community acknowledges the importance of avoiding this.
Most greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere when generating the energy people need, and their needs grow more every day. Scientists agree unanimously that climate change can only be fought efficiently by changing energy consumption habits; that is, by transferring from traditional (non-renewable) energy sources to renewable ones.
Renewable energy sources are those natural sources whose existence and constant renewal are determined by natural processes. This includes solar, wind, geothermal, water and biomass resources. Using these to generate energy prevents the release of damaging substances that cause the greenhouse effect.
With this understanding, the European Union set itself the goal of reducing the amount of greenhouse gases it emits relative to 1990 by 20 percent by 2020. On that same year, 20 percent of the union’s energy needs should be fulfilled by renewable energy sources. The goal of these measures is not just to implement the goals set forth by the Paris agreement, but to make Europe the greenest continent in the world.
In 2015 in Paris, 195 countries agreed on a new global climate change legal structure. This agreement is considered to be a historically important step towards decarbonising the economy. It sets forth ambitious long-term goals for reducing the growth of global temperatures, signals the complete elimination of dependence on fossil fuels, and sends a clear message to investors in the energy sector that, in the long term, high-emission technologies will become lifeless. The Paris agreement came into effect in 2016.