GreenEcoNet

Connecting SMEs for a green economy

Lennard Duursema's blog

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According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy productivity improvements could generate an additional $18 trillion in global GDP between 2012 and 2035. Energy productivity describes the total economic value created in relation to the energy applied. Just to illustrate, doubling energy productivity would mean that businesses to achieve twice as much economic output per unit used. Besides economic benefits, increasing global energy productivity would naturally also achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and help in tackling climate change.

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The role for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the transitions towards the green economy is not to be underestimated, given that SMEs form 99% of European businesses and 66% of Europe’s labor force. The notion that small can be powerful has been emphasized too by McKinsey Global Institute (2007) as they concluded that the global residential sector (dwellings), which is responsible for 25 percent of global energy demand, has the largest potential to reduce CO2 emissions. Similarly, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) concluded that the construction sector has the greatest and cheapest potential to reduce CO2 emissions through investments in energy efficient and low-emission dwellings and buildings.

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Adopting circular-economy principles could not only benefit Europe environmentally and socially, but could also generate a net economic benefit of €1.8 trillion by 2030.

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