The 27th annual United Nations meeting on climate change – COP27 – is underway in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. As world governments gather to coordinate global actions, it’s the ideal opportunity to remember the importance of individual and corporate contributions towards a more sustainable future.
By converting GPS data into climate impact, we enable individual drivers to better understand their environmental impact and reduce their CO2 emissions. We also enable organizations to reach out with digital solutions that help drivers become more aware of sustainability.
The landmark Paris Agreement set a goal of limiting temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. This is crucial to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, including more frequent and severe droughts, heatwaves, and rainfall. Yet, a report published by UN Climate Change ahead of COP27 revealed that while countries are bending the curve of global greenhouse gas emissions downward, efforts to achieve the goal remain insufficient.
Now, faced with a growing energy crisis, record greenhouse gas concentrations, and increasing extreme weather events, COP27 is seeking renewed solidarity between countries to deliver on the Paris Agreement.
Reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement requires emissions to be reduced by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. The UN itself says that “Transitioning to a net-zero world is one of the greatest challenges humankind has faced,” and that to do so “calls for nothing less than a complete transformation of how we produce, consume, and move about.”[i]
The only way to achieve net zero is by everybody playing their part. Rather than relying on changes at a country level, corporates and individuals can make a real difference. And, with transportation responsible for close to a quarter of energy-related global greenhouse gas emissions, the sustainability of travel is an important consideration.
There are many factors that influence the environmental impact of travel. Think everything from choice of vehicle to route selection. Even whether trips can be combined or avoided completely. For drivers, there are also many factors in play while they’re behind the wheel, some of which are not immediately associated with the environment.
Distraction, for example, can result in drivers adjusting speed unnecessarily. Lack of focus can result in drivers not paying attention to what is happening around them and needing to hit the brakes hard to avoid a collision. In many cases, cruise control can be lethal to fuel economy. Instead, managing speed manually and aiming for a smooth ride can save a huge amount of fuel.
One of the biggest incentives for people to change their behavior is financial reward. And this is where motor insurers have the potential to make a significant contribution to climate change efforts. Currently, the pooling of risk is commonplace in motor insurance. In general, this allows the higher costs of some customers to be offset by the lower costs of others. Yet, pooled pricing drives bad behavior.
Technology now enables motor insurers to identify the 15% of drivers causing 50% of crashes and the 85% of drivers who are lowest risk – as well as the drivers creating the most – and least – CO2 emissions. If motor insurers price premiums according to risk and CO2 impact, and incentivize safer, more sustainable driving for a lower premium, they can influence driving that is better for the environment.
Many organizations with people who drive for work purposes are already thinking more about climate change. However, the current development of global sustainability reporting standards signals a new era in corporate reporting. Not only will companies be looking for ways to obtain data on their environmental performance, they will be looking for ways to reduce it.
Factors such as vehicle selection and routing are important, but so is influencing more sustainable driving behavior. And the starting point is identifying the drivers with the highest CO2 emissions. Until now it has been difficult for companies to compare environmental impact between drivers of different vehicle types, such as cars and trucks. Now, Greater Than makes it easy for organizations to identify driver climate impact, enabling comparisons between drivers regardless of vehicle driven. This places companies in greater control of their environmental footprint.
When COP27 comes to a close on November 18 we can expect renewed momentum around coordinated climate change action. Technologies already exist today that enable significant strides to be made towards the goals of the Paris Agreement. It’s simply a case of embracing them and ensuring we all play our part to deliver on the goals.
Greater Than’s AI technology is capable of reducing drivers’ environmental impact. By converting GPS data into climate impact insights, we place drivers and organizations in greater control of their impact on climate change. Contact Greater Than or book a meeting to learn more.