Unlocking climate action is possible if we engage citizens in 120 million climate conversations. Creating and delivering a low-carbon plan for every building is the digital transformation to make it happen.
Buildings are the planet’s most significant untapped opportunity to reduce carbon emissions. Representing over 20% of the current carbon emissions, every building can benefit from better energy efficiency, higher resilience to climate change, and improved affordability.
Of the many tasks ahead of us to achieve our climate goals, getting 120 million homes retrofitted to net-zero emissions is among the most intimidating. Fortunately, many financial incentives exist for homeowners to undertake these retrofits. In most cases, the best way (or only way) to unlock access to these programs is with an energy assessment of the building.
Building energy assessments are the foundation of the conversation, providing building owners advice on where to start their journey to net zero. Currently, assessment methods are labour-intensive, expensive, and difficult to scale.
Today, we’re assessing only 1.5% of the building stock annually – a rate that puts us over 60 years behind our 2045 climate targets. We have only 25 years to deploy more than $1 trillion in deep energy retrofits. We have only assessed 10% of the building stock in the past 20 years, leaving behind 90% of building owners.
How can governments, energy efficiency organizations, real estate organizations, financial institutions, and other stakeholders engage and support homeowners to complete this herculean task?
We need to break down data silos, rapidly adopt new technologies and collaborate like never before. We need more scalable ways to start the low-carbon conversation.
Imagine a world where every conversation leads to action, a nationwide approach combines with community empowerment, and where leveraging low-carbon plans for mass market engagement isn’t just a dream but a daily practice. In a world where digital transformation enables us to reach scale like never before, transparency is not a lofty goal but a committed practice.
The vision is grand, but it’s not a fantasy. A potential future awaits us if we’re brave enough to pursue it.
Every grand vision needs a practical path to success. Here’s how we’ll do it:
Low-carbon plans are not just theoretical documents. They are actionable roadmaps that can guide us to achieve climate targets. By transforming these plans into engaging, understandable conversations, we can reach the mass market, encouraging awareness, commitment, and action.
In an age of misinformation, transparency builds trust. Open and clear communication of our goals, strategies, and progress is essential. It’s about letting people in, making them part of the solution, and ensuring that everyone knows what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.
Current programs tend to favour urban, high-income households that can “afford to save money.” New programs need to be developed that are accessible in both urban and rural areas, and financial programs that match income levels with targeted retrofits. Digital programs are ubiquitous, cover 100% of the building stock and are more cost-effective to deploy.
The digital revolution is here, and it’s our most powerful tool. By harnessing the power of technology, we can achieve scale in our efforts like never before. Connecting, educating, empowering, and mobilizing millions nationwide doesn’t have to be a slow process. Digital tools enable us to make it happen now.
The path to success lies in balancing a national-scale approach with the power of local community empowerment. It’s about making every individual feel part of something bigger yet recognizing and celebrating every community’s unique needs, contributions, and potential.
“120 Million Climate Conversations” is a rallying cry for every citizen, community, and leader to use digital transformation to turn talk into actions that transform us into a low-carbon economy. A low-carbon plan for every building is the digital transformation that will facilitate 120 million conversations and turn them into actions.
The road ahead is long, and the task is immense, but we have a plan, the technology, and the passion to make it happen. It’s time to move beyond the conversation and take action, forging a future that is livable, thriving, sustainable, and flourishing.
Join Climative as we create 120 million climate conversations and turn them into the force that shapes our future. It starts with you. It starts now.
Winston Morton is CEO at Climative. As a scale-up executive of 25+ years, Winston has become an expert in database and security SaaS with a passion for driving climate action through technology. This article was originally published on LinkedIn.