How climate change caused a shift in trends and tech in 2015

The 2015 historic agreement at the United Nations Climate Conference of Partners in Paris, also known as COP, pledged to limit a rise in global temperatures to two per cent centigrade.

The agreement was hard won, with country representatives working all night over the summit’s last weekend to get the nuts and bolts firmly in place. The deal means that countries promise to control the numbers of carbon emissions. Simply put, these are the amounts by which countries damage and pollute their atmosphere.

The climate change has caused a change in trends and technology. Right through 2015, we’ve seen a desire by country leaders to work with entrepreneurs to help tackle the problem. Entrepreneurs have been examining this through their companies; Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson have formed a group to invest in early stage clean energy companies.  

One such entrepreneur is Manoj Bhargava. On the Forbes billionaire list and worth $4 billion, he’s pledged 99 per cent of his wealth to charity. 

An entertaining video from the 'Billions in change' series shows how Manoj is focusing on water, energy and health. 

In it, a building called the Invention Shop is described by one of his staff as the most "Well funded playhouse for engineers you could possibly have." Another one says, "We aim to deliver products which directly impact humanity." Manoj says that he values 'useful' way more than "cool".

The Invention Shop has come up with a hybrid bicycle that produces 24 hours of electricity with one hour of cycling. Manoj remarks, "Unlimited energy, pollution-free!" For countries with limited electricity, the cycle is a great solution.

Read: The best young entrepreneurs of 2015

In the Invention Shop you can also find the Rain Project, which takes unusable sea water and turns it into drinking water. One machine in the workshop can produce 1,000 gallons of drinkable water an hour. Manoj notes that China, Africa and India already suffer acute water shortages. He is planning barges with many units placed on them, lying off coastal areas, turning sea water into drinking water.  

The Invention Shop has also protoyped Renew, a machine that enhances circulation. It’s almost acting like another heart for the body, as it pumps blood back from the legs into the body.

Poor circulation accounts for many serious brain diseases.

Entrepreneurs trending to work on climate change form a large part of a country with a desire to do the same - and it’s already succeeded to a high degree.

Uruguay has slashed its energy costs and carbon footprint.

The little country with big ideas is attracting investors, as this Guardian article states. The piece also includes a quote from its Head of Climate Policy, Ramon Mendez. "The key to success is rather dull but encouragingly replicable: clear decision-making, a supportive regulatory environment and a strong partnership between the public and private sector."

As a result, energy investment – mostly for renewables, but also liquid gas – in Uruguay over the past five years has surged to $7bn, or 15 of the country’s annual GDP. That is five times the average in Latin America and three times the global share recommended by climate economist Nicholas Stern.

"What we’ve learned is that renewables is just a financial business," Méndez says. "The construction and maintenance costs are low, so as long as you give investors a secure environment, it is a very attractive."

Read: Five innovative ways entrepreneurs generated ideas in 2015

So the headwinds that have helped Uruguay along the way to ecological success are; "credibility (a stable democracy that has never defaulted on its debts so it is attractive for long-term investments); helpful natural conditions (good wind, decent solar radiation and lots of biomass from agriculture); and strong public companies (which are a reliable partner for private firms and can work with the state to create an attractive operating environment)."

The trend to work on climate change in 2015 is one behaviour that can have global results and make the world a better place for coming generations.

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. Thumbnail from gettyimages.

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