16th Feb 2021
November 4th, 2019, was a catastrophic day for global climate action. This was the date that the US Government formally notified the United Nations that the US were withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. The move, which came after decades of negotiation to try to come to some sort of global agreement on climate action, seemed to take the already ambitious 1.5°C global temperature rise limit even further out of reach.
However, this year’s election of US President Joe Biden is a global victory for climate action. President Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement during his first day in office, before going on to sign a series of executive orders on climate change, including halting fossil fuel activity on public land and converting the US Government’s fleet of cars into electric vehicles. With US carbon emissions currently the second highest in the world, the president’s vow to take "a whole of government approach to put climate change at the center of US domestic, national security and foreign policies" is great news to all fighting the global climate crisis. For individuals and organisations, such as ours, that are focused on driving the net-zero ambition, Biden’s administration represents a new era of hope in what are otherwise bleak times.
President Biden has called climate change "the number one issue facing humanity" and understands all too well that meeting this test requires nothing less than a full-scale mobilization of American government, business, and society.
Mr Biden said the US "must lead" a global response to the climate change crisis. "Just like we need a unified national response to Covid-19, we desperately need a unified national response to the climate crisis because there is a climate crisis," he said.
Whilst the past four years has been a difficult time for climate action in the US, many climate activists, agencies and organisations, not to mention the US Climate Alliance, have still been working hard in the background to help maintain progress towards zero-carbon. For the built environment, individual states such as California, with its Title 24 regulations, and voluntary green building ratings and initiatives, such as the USGBC’s LEED, have been pushing forward with their net-zero carbon building agendas. All of these regulatory and voluntary rating systems are supported by IES within our VE software, together with many other global compliance rating systems, with the 2020 Florida Energy Code being the most recent scheme to be approved in our latest VE2021 release.
Despite the lack of government support throughout the previous administration, much has still been achieved in recent years. You need only look to some of our recent articles and net-zero case studies to see just how far we have come in our efforts to create a more energy efficient and decarbonised built environment. But there is always more we can, and should, be doing.
Innovation is widely recognised as key to achieving global decarbonisation targets. So far, Biden’s climate agenda uses the term solely in connection with the development and commercialisation of clean energy technologies. Although this will play a vital part in global decarbonisation, it is not the complete solution. In fact, in his blog ‘The Three Levels of How to Decarbonise’, our CEO Don McLean explains that “no single solution can solve the issue in isolation. A holistic community approach, which also engages the citizens and technology providers key to any change, must be taken.”
This is exactly the approach we strive to deliver at IES. For over twenty-five years now, our Virtual Environment (VE) software has been supporting the energy efficient, low-carbon design of millions of buildings around the world and, more recently, our expanded range of ICL Digital Twin technology means that we are making a real difference at the broader city, community, citizen, company and even country levels. We are always working to improve and expand our capabilities, through continuous R&D, to help transform our built environment into one which is sustainable, resource and energy efficient and which prioritises health and wellbeing for all citizens and generations to come.
We believe that our technology can facilitate the decarbonisation of every building of every city in the world. Alongside our users we have already achieved so much, which is demonstrated via our many excellent case studies. You can help us in our mission by continuing to engage with us. Share your project case studies with us, like and share our social media posts and content so we can continue spreading the word to encourage action across the globe. And, last but not least, use our technology to help make a real difference in the movement against climate change.
Want to find out more on how you can make your buildings more energy efficient? Contact our Sales Team today.