COP22: Ready for Marrakesh

Michael Cooke

How ABB is at the heart of climate change talks – and action

Monday, November 7 marks the start of the 2016 UN conference on climate change, also known as the COP22. The annual two-week event, held this year in Marrakesh, Morocco, brings together the 197 countries that have gone on record in their commitment to battle climate change.

Normally, this would be cause enough for celebration, but one year after the landmark Paris Agreement – and shortly after it entered into force at an unprecedented speed – there is little doubt that positive, lasting change is within reach.

In these exciting times, ABB is proud of its commitment as an official COP22 partner, as well as a key member of the global UNEP initiative to improve appliance and equipment efficiency.

But it’s also worth pointing out that our largest, most effective contributions to tackling climate change are the ones we know best

Our very own products and services are already playing a considerable role in reducing carbon emissions. The work we do, every day, helps energy-intensive industries cut costs. New game-changing technologies take hold. The buildings we live and work in run smartly. Electricity, especially from renewable sources, gets to where it’s needed most.

The work we do on a state-of-the-art microgrid in Nairobi, Kenya, to name just one example, will help the International Committee of the Red Cross carry on with its essential mission.

In our own operations, we’re also aiming to reduce emissions from the direct use of fuels, purchased electricity and district heating. Our new integrated solar-diesel microgrid installation at the ABB Longmeadow facility in Johannesburg, South Africa, reduces the electricity bill and fossil fuel consumption by up to 50%. This effort together with over 190 individual energy efficiency projects around ABB, help us cut emissions and achieve a 20% reduction in ABB energy intensity by 2020.

Progress, of course, is about more than just numbers

While our everyday focus is on delivering energy-efficient solutions and renewable energy systems, we believe in the broader social and economic benefits of doing so – as our support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals makes clear. Our growing “access to electricity” program has already brought reliable power to rural off-grid areas in Asia and improved the lives of many, while helping achieving the climate change goals in the spotlight right now.

As the COP22 unfolds, we can all take a moment to think about how our work at ABB makes a difference and why, more than ever, it matters.

About the author

Michael Cooke

Michael holds a degree in Chemistry from Manchester University, UK and a MSc in Environment and Pollution Control. He has worked in several industry sectors including chemicals, pharmaceuticals and engineering in various roles including Business Unit Manager, Strategy Director and Director of Environmental , Health and Safety roles. He joined ABB in July 2016 as Group Head of HSE and Sustainability and now lives in Zurich.
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