Why Does it Matter?
The growing demands of energy is expected to rise 25% by 2040. Even more alarming, more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions are from electricity production. The renewable energy share of total final energy consumption gradually increased, from 16.3 percent in 2010 to 17.0 percent in 2015 and 17.3 percent in 2017. Much faster growth is required to meet long-term climate goals. Global primary energy intensity (the energy used per unit of GDP) improved by 2.2 percent annually, from 5.2 percent in 2015 to 5.0 percent in 2017, but was still short of the 2.7 percent annual rate needed to reach target 7.3. Introducing carbon pricing and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies is paramount to ensure a sustainable future.
As institutions for research and education, public gardens are instrumental in counteracting these current trends and creating a greener, more resilient future. Public gardens can sustain plant life for future generations without relying on fossil fuels, inspiring those outside garden walls to do the same. The Energy Use & Impacts Attribute examines how public gardens can reduce fossil fuel energy use and its associated impacts through leadership in green building, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.