Let’s keep the world turning while saving energy every day

We know how to mitigate and even stop the climate change. We have the technologies and products needed, and we have the scientific facts to act on. I am an optimist, and I believe that we as humans can stop climate change. By Morten Wierod, President, ABB Motion

But I am also a realist – it will not be easy, and it will require a lot of focused research, innovation and investment. It will call for collaboration between governments, businesses and academia – working together with a common objective, high urgency and determination.

Where should we start? There is so much we can and should do to mitigate climate change as individuals, businesses, cities and countries. There are things that have immediate and big impact and there are things that have a smaller or a more long-term impact. We must also look at the human cost of the actions we take. We cannot simply stop everything without causing massive human distress.

Where we should focus our attention are areas that have a high impact in the short and long term and have minimal negative impact to human life. One such area is energy efficiency in industries, cities and infrastructure. With the rise in population, automation, urbanization and electrification, the demand for energy will continue to grow.

The most effective way to reduce carbon emissions is to use less energy. However, we can’t switch off everything. We need to produce food, keep water running, air flowing, trains moving and ships sailing, while continuously improving the energy efficiency. With high-efficiency motors and variable speed drives we can do just that.

Independent research estimates that if the existing motor driven systems were replaced with optimized, high-efficiency equipment, the gains to be realized could reduce global electricity consumption by up to 10%. In turn, this would account for more than 40% of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions needed to meet the 2040 climate goals established by the Paris Agreement.

Please find our white paper on the energy efficiency potential of motors and drives here:

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I believe industrial energy efficiency, more than any other challenge, has the single greatest capacity for combatting the climate emergency. It is essentially the world’s invisible climate solution. With high-efficiency motors and drives that power most of the critical processes around us, we can keep the world turning, while saving energy every day.

Our role as ABB, together with all the global technology companies, is to always provide the most energy efficient technologies and products and to continue to innovate for more. We should also let everybody know of these technologies and innovations, so that they can take them into use. But, as stated in the beginning, we can’t do this alone. We need commitment, collaboration, and action from multiple stakeholders:

  • Public decision makers and government regulators need to incentivize rapid adoption of the most energy efficient technologies.
  • Businesses, cities, and countries need to be aware of both the cost savings and environmental advantages and be willing to make the investment.
  • Investors need to reallocate capital toward companies better prepared to address the climate risk.

Human beings are amazing. When we share a meaningful, urgent and inspiring purpose, we can accomplish almost anything. Together, we can progress and sustain the future of industry and humanity. We are moving forward, but with your help, we can go much further.

Morten Wierod
President, ABB Motion

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