(Reuters, 5 Dec 2023) What if the world could quickly slash climate-warming emissions, without having to build so much new renewable energy capacity?
That's exactly what some experts say needs to happen, by improving the efficiency of appliances and electricity grids through efforts like plugging leaks and stopping so-called "vampire loads" from devices that pull power from wall sockets even when switched off.
By lowering the amount of power needed to perform the same tasks, the world could burn fewer fossil fuels and spend less on expanding solar or wind capacity.
"We don't just need to change the way we generate electricity, we need to change the ways we use it," said Larissa Gross of E3G climate think tank.
At least 118 countries at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai have backed a pledge to improve energy efficiency rates by 4% each year until 2030. That would be a doubling of the 2% improvement in efficiency rates seen in 2022.