Scientists believe that human activity since the mid-20th century is causing the rapid warming of the Earth's climate system. This is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, with an ever-increasing number of people affected by floods, storms, heatwaves and droughts.
IEC Standards, together with testing and certification, help countries and industries to adopt more sustainable technologies. They also help strengthen the disaster resilience of infrastructure, reducing disaster risks, accelerating recovery and overall impact. Countries that implement IEC Standards enjoy easier access to sustainable technologies and are better able to mitigate the impact of disasters.
Energy efficiency standards can play a significant role in the fight against climate change. Moreover, all IEC International Standards and conformity assessment (CA) activities work toward achieving a minimal impact on the environment and optimal use of resources.
IEC International Standards and CA activities also address the substances and processes used in the manufacture of electrotechnical equipment and systems. Commonly referred to as "hazardous substances" these are elements or compounds which can have serious consequences on the environment or human well-being. IEC expertise is being used by government regulatory authorities around the world to ensure that the optimal solutions are put in place to manage these substances.
It is predicted that a large percentage of electrical energy will be produced by renewable sources in the future. Large-scale use of renewable energy is important as it helps reduce dependence on fossil fuels, combat global warming and raise the living standards of people in developing countries. IEC International Standards help these technologies become marketable. They provide a foundation for certification systems, promote international trade of uniform high-quality products and support the transfer of expertise from traditional energy systems.
A cleaner world
The IEC has a dedicated advisory committee on environmental aspects (ACEA) which coordinates and guides the IEC's efforts to ensure that IEC International Standards don't include specifications which would harm the environment. In addition, Technical Committee (TC) 111 is dedicated specifically to writing International Standards on environmental aspects of electrotechnology.
ACEA and TC 111 are heavily involved in IEC work on the so-called circular economy. This is a more sustainable economic model that re-evaluates our current approach to production and consumption.
Using renewable sources
While many efforts are required to keep up with the pace of developments in renewable energy technologies, the IEC is dedicated to setting International Standards that serve the planet in this market sector. The IEC has several technical committees working in the field of renewable energies, looking at areas such as hydropower, ocean power, solar energy, wind turbines and fuel cell technologies.
Through its activities in renewable energies, the IEC is contributing to global efforts, helping industry and government mitigate the effects of climate change.