How international groups are fighting for a greener world

How international groups are trying to save our planet

Changes in the Earth's atmosphere and climate have already played their parts in waking governments up to the threat global warming has on our society. The real challenge now however, is to make sure countries stand by their promises to mitigate further flare ups triggered by climate change.

COP21 was one of the latest charges against global warming, with 195 nations adopting a universal agreement last December, which is expected to see countries take action on limiting the rise in the Earth's temperature to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius during this century.

"There were an extraordinary number of agreements that were reached in 2015 around the future of development, how we see society and the planet, and how we will combat climate change," Rachel Kyte, CEO of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative, told CNBC's Sustainable Energy.

"We have to now get things done and that requires extraordinary partnership of government, the private sector and civil society."

Rachel Kyte
Tony Karumba | AFP | Getty Images

SE4All is just one of the many leading international bodies that are out there promoting the sustainable energy cause and encouraging people to act sooner rather than later. Since the initiative was launched by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in 2011, the body has already partnered up with 106 governments and the European Union, to achieve and advance upon key goals surrounding the future of energy.

However, persuading countries and leading institutions to act on climate change is easier said than done. The G20 itself has said that climate change is "one of the greatest challenges facing the world today", and while the group's members are working hard to combat global emissions, G20 countries currently account for 74 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Economic Forum.

"There has to be a price on carbon, there has to be a cost. If you emit, if you pollute, you have to pay the price. As long as we don't have this price – in whichever form you structure it – there will be no real progress," Jacquelin Ligot, ‎a sustainable energy and climate finance expert, told CNBC.

Ligot went on to add that instead of working on a country-by-country basis or with hundreds of countries, he thought it was easier to work with the likes of G20 when it came to combating climate change.

For Kyte, it is the face-to-face conversations which help build trust among leaders in government, business and international institutions; enabling them to reach a collective goal together, that is bigger than any group's potential objections.

While countries worldwide are embracing the need to combat global warming, Kyte told CNBC that there were three things that needed to be done if the world wanted to "stand a chance of building a more inclusive, greener economy."

"Our economies need to be much more productive from energy. We need to get much more out of every unit of energy that we use and we have to have much more renewable energy in our mix," said Kyte, echoing the three objectives of the SE4All initiative.

"Climate change is on my watch. This is my generation's problem. We've benefited from a fossil fuel economy for over 150 years and we have to change that because we have no future then for my kids and for their kids."

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