Recent elections have led to a lively debate about the future of climate action. Many ask if the historic breakthrough in Paris last year will now be put to rest.
While politics does matter, no election result is going to change this simple fact: climate solutions will continue to make progress.
The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra released last year a global study together with leading institutions from 10 different countries. The Green to Scale report gives a lot of reasons for optimism.
According to the analysis, simply scaling up 17 existing low-carbon solutions would reduce global emissions by 12 gigatonnes (Gt) by 2030. To put the figure into perspective, this is about one quarter of current global emissions.
The 17 solutions are but a fraction of all existing and promising options out there. To build on this global analysis, Sitra will be releasing next week at the UN Climate Conference in Marrakech a new report, focusing on 15 Nordic low-carbon solutions. You can follow the international release through a webcast.
What is even more striking is the price tag. Using conservative assumptions, the cost of scaling up the 17 solutions would reach $94 billion dollars a year by 2030. While that does sound like a lot of money, it is less than one fifth of the amount that governments pour into direct fossil fuel subsidies every year.
Taking the average of the cost range, cutting emissions with this set of solutions could actually save taxpayers money. And this does not even include the value of the various co-benefits that taking climate action provides, from cutting harmful air pollution to creating local jobs.
Other studies have shown that the price of low-carbon solutions has been falling rapidly. If you have time for just one graph, have a look at the one compiled by Vox.
It tells that low-carbon solutions will continue to make progress. Energy companies will invest in renewable energy. Consumers will start using electric vehicles. Industries will find ways to cut their energy use.
Decisions by policymakers in all countries do matter. They can make the difference between climate solutions being deployed relatively fast on the one hand and fast enough to limit global warming to tolerable levels on the other.
But the transition to a low-carbon economy is unstoppable. And no election result is going to change that.
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post, in conjunction with the U.N.'s 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) in Morocco (Nov. 7-18), aka the climate-change conference. The series will put a spotlight on climate-change issues and the conference itself. To view the entire series, visit here.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place