1. The Climate-KIC team
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Share you thoughts:

Is the prediction of a high greenhouse gas emission reduction potential essential for making a positive climate impact with a new innovation?

This discussion is part of the learning nugget Climate impact 2 in Ideating Climate Business.
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Hmm I am thinking in about the same ways as Jody. If you have a good invention that will change the GHG emissions, it will do that no matter what the reduction potential says. I am not completely sure how they calculate the reduction potential, but it at least says something about that work can be done. So it might be a bit more likely to end up in one of the sections with high potential, but I do not see it as the only option.
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  1. more than a month ago
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I believe the whole point of entrepreneurship is for individuals to begin making contributions towards climate change no matter how big or small that contribution is. Collectively, all these efforts in the long run will make a tangible impact. Much like in energy/food security, in this case diversification is key - what if that 1 miracle innovation fails?
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If we are looking for a change regarding CO2 and global warming, GHG reduction potential is a key factor that any innovative idea/project must have either as a primary consequence or side effect.
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I agree to the others' comments here that high GHG reduction potential is not necessary for innovation to occur, however I consider it essential, indeed. It's only reasonable that efforts of individuals, organisations and the states focus on sectors where the emissions reduction potential is great. That is what we need, in order to avoid catastrophic climate change after all.

There are two reasons why I believe that. On the one hand, such sectors may provide high profitability for the innovators who come up with a market-oriented solution, since profit potential in combination with actual impact are significant drivers for innovation. On the other hand, countries' policies should focus on where the greater and most rapid gains can be made (not neglecting other sectors, though) and these policies should include elements of (fostering) innovation.
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Is the prediction of a high greenhouse gas emission reduction potential essential for making a positive climate impact with a new innovation?

No, any contribution to reducing GHGs is positive. However, the opportunity cost of pursuing a smaller impact with an innovation, is the creation of a new technology or system that significantly reduces GHGs. The question is more about where is your time/money/resources/efforts best used. Why make a small impact with hard work, when you can make a big one?
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Combatting climate change is essentially done by reducing emissions. Hence, the higher the reduction potential, the larger is the positive impact on climate.
But I would not rank the quality of new innovations according to their reduction potential. Obviously, more is needed to form a good innovation. But identifying a large reduction potential is a good first step.
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Personally, I don´t believe that a high GHG reduction potential is necessary for an innovation to be effective and able to make a positive climate impact. Any new solution allowing for a reduction of GHG emissions (and may it be ever so insignificant) can trigger further innovation that might increase the potential of reducing emissions significantly. Innovation can only be predicted based on observations on current developments or, as Henry Ford once put it, "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses". My point is that innovation evolves from a mindset that does not follow the current state of the art, but breaks out and looks for completely new approaches. In the context of climate change mitigation, the potential initially assigned to a specific innovation does not necessarily represent its real capability of initializing a process of developing further mitigation strategies.
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  1. more than a month ago
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Right! Adding on what Jody, Linnea and others mentioned: GHG reduction potential of innovative solutions can not be identified until those are applied and mature.

Also notice that the GHG reduction potential in the graph shown in this section regards "Abatement potential of measures proposed in [the] report up to 2030" as stated in the 2015 The New Climate Economy Report, p.44.

It is important though to strive for generating innovative solutions that tackle the biggest emission sources, as Rabia refers. Every gram counts, indeed. However, to maximise resources (namely time), we better address mega tones instead.
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Same. As well as the reverse so I make sure the thing I'm writing feels natural. It's especially interesting when the movie conveys info using just shots/editing/music and thinking about Assignment Spot through the different methods of medium-translation.
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