Oorja was privileged to participate in the Conference of Youth (COY11), a gathering of young people occurring every year before the most important environmental event of the 21st Century, the Conference of Parties (COP 21)—held in Paris.
On 26th November, our co-founder and CEO Amit Saraogi conducted a workshop on decentralized renewable energy systems for rural electrification through micro-grids. In the workshop, organised together with Flore Bergerault from Wordcop21, Amit led a discussion on how the Oorja solution could be adapted in Europe and other developing countries. Our decentralized, easy-to-operate mini power plants can produce reliable and affordable electricity and biochar from agricultural waste. Therefore, our solution could be easily replicated in any community with the following three requisites: (1) abundant agricultural waste, (2) a demand for clean and reliable energy and (3) a need to develop sustainable agricultural practices.
The COP 21 was closed on 12th December with the signing of a ground breaking deal—the Paris Agreement. For the first time, all 195 countries represented at the Summit signed the deal, which will come into force in 2020.
We have decades of work ahead of us to meet our 100% clean energy by 2050 target. We need rich countries to empathise more with developing countries so we can skip coal altogether and lift hundreds of millions out of poverty. We need to push governments everywhere to keep the planet’s warming under 1.5 degrees, so that island nations can survive, and to keep the promises they made there in Paris.
But we won a lot too -- at least $100 billion in finance after 2020 to keep the money flowing for decades to emerging countries ;a promise to meet every five years to keep track and move us closer and closer to the day the net-zero world becomes reality; and a global agreement that climate change is a world problem, requiring cooperation of all countries to deliver a future for our children.
Most importantly, COP21 sends a clear message to investors everywhere: throwing money into fossil fuels is a dead bet. Renewables are the profit centre. Green technology to bring us to 100% clean energy is the money-maker of the future. As John Kerry and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said, the Paris Agreement sends a clear message to markets in order to initiate a transition towards a low carbon path and sustainable economy.
We, at Oorja, together with the whole renewable sector, are well conscious about the work and challenges ahead but, for now, we cheer the result of this agreement. We are more than ever committed to work hard to empower rural communities and enable a world free of poverty and with zero emissions for our generations to come!