Climate change is one of the most discussed topics of the 21st century. From politicians and scientists to philosophers alike, the conversation about where humanity is going next is just really getting started and it is heating up like never before. Shaping the global future of humanity is not easy, especially with the race towards cleaner energy security while maintaining a clear vision with regard to climate change. Understanding the relationship of energy security to climate change is essential to moving forward as a collective.
What is Energy Security?
Energy security is described by the IEA, or the International Energy Agency, as both an uninterrupted source of energy at affordable rates, as well as the diversification of energy resources and providers. Energy security may reference a population’s ability to store and consume energy over a period of time at an affordable price, hence delivering the security aspect of maintaining energy for all.
When discussing energy security politically, you are more likely to hear that energy security is in reference to the current country’s ability to provide energy in a sustainable and economically sound manner, regardless of the means of production being used. Additionally, energy security may also include the discussion of being able to scale energy usage for both civilian and military purposes without risking the source of production for the energy itself.
For some, the concept of energy security is also rather abstract, and cannot be defined in one sentence. Instead, others view energy security as an abstract concept that is an all-encompassing idea of what the world should look like as well as the type of energy that should be sought and used.
Why Does Energy Security Matter?
Knowing that you have energy that you can rely on helps you to get through your day-to-day tasks and active lifestyle. But, what happens when an energy plant is shut down for all local businesses and organizations that keep a town running and in operation? Knowing where your energy is coming from, how it is produced, and whether or not you are using clean energy is extremely important in today’s age, especially when discussing climate change alongside energy security.
The Need for a Conversation
As production has ramped up in the past 50 years alone, destructive impacts on our environment have occurred all around the globe. From deforestation to ocean landfills, society’s high-rate consumption has led to dangerously unhealthy living environments that can be remedied and, in some cases, even reversed with the proper course of action.
Having a conversation about energy security and climate change is necessary among global leaders, corporate stakeholders, and the average everyday citizen. With incessant wildfires, extended droughts, overwhelming floods, and even record-setting heatwaves in the midst, it is time that the world comes together in a global effort to right our wrongs, in a sense.
How Does Climate Change Impact Energy Security?
As the climate continues to evolve, change, and become more invasive in our everyday lives, we can see just how much our own actions have drastically impacted the climate and world around us. Without taking proper measures to reduce harmful gasses, toxic emissions, and even landfill waste, we will continue to require more energy in order to complete simple tasks, while also polluting the planet.
Climate change, with increased temperatures, intense storms, droughts, and more, can wreak havoc on a natural ecosystem, especially if it is not being properly guided by renewable sources of energy or clean energy efforts.
What is Clean and Green Energy?
Clean energy is defined as an energy source that generates nearly zero emissions while also using renewable sources of energy, resulting in little to no pollution in the air when produced. Depending on the type of clean energy that is being used, the energy may or may not be generated from various sources that already do include pollutants. However, green energy, on the other hand, promises to generate energy only from natural sources and not from any sources that are commonly linked to air pollutants.
What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is any power that is generated through the use of a source that can be replenished and/or renewed, either over a short or long period of time. Renewable energy sources are known for being some of the most efficient and “green” methods of tackling climate change while simultaneously reducing the number of pollutants that are generated in our skies each day. One example of renewable energy that has become more popularized in recent years is hydropower.
Hydropower requires the use of water in order to generate energy, which is why it is considered renewable and less wasteful. However, some may argue that hydropower also requires deforestation and the removal of land to make way for dams, rivers, streams, and other water-based solutions.
“Finding the best source of renewable energy is still up for discussion and is a major point of contention for political figures as well as environmental activists from all around the world today,” says Francois-Xavier Morency, chemical engineer and founding partner at MP Ventures & Trusts.
While climate change is likely to be at the forefront of discussion for quite some time to come, it is important to understand all that is involved with climate change as well, from energy security to food production and local resources. Understanding the relationship of energy security to climate change is necessary for future discussions involving real, sustainable, and long-term efforts to make the world a better place.